Featured in: The Saratogian

Story by: Lauren Mineau

Link to full article can be found here: http://www.saratogian.com/lifestyle/20150430/prevention-council-effort-strives-to-educate-on-dangers-of-heroin#author1

SARATOGA SPRINGS >> Heroin was once an inner city drug, but it has now surged into suburban communities and members of The Prevention Council are hoping to raise awareness about the battle with addiction.

The Prevention Council hosted a forum Tuesday night for an age group most likely to experiment with the drug – high school students and young adults.

Maigan Richardson of Ballston Spa shared her story at Saratoga Springs High School as part of a discussion about the local heroin epidemic as a whole.

Richardson recalled suffering an injury in high school and being prescribed medication for the pain, but said her doctors never told her about the dangers of the opiate-based painkillers. She said she soon began to develop a dependency, even after her injury had healed.

With heroin now available in a more pure form from Mexico and Brazil, more people are apt to try it and addiction can happen quickly.

“That purer form, people can get a high from it by snorting it or smoking it as opposed to injecting it” said Robin Lyle, director of outreach at the Saratoga area Prevention Council. “For some people, that eliminates a barrier that they might otherwise have to using it. People are not perceiving it as risky and harmful, as they used to, partially because the prescriptions are seen as medicine.”

Tuesday’s event was designed to educate parents and students about the drug. The Prevention Council has two more upcoming events to educate and inform about the dangers of heroin.

“They’re a bit of a captive audience,” Lyle said, “but I think right here is where the prevention can happen. It’s really important to get that message out now.”

On Thursday, April 30, Friends from Recovery Advocacy in Saratoga and The Prevention Council will host a recovery talk – a community listening forum on addiction on recovery. The event will be held at 7 p.m. at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Community members are invited to share their stories of addiction and listen to others.