Heroin epidemic forum held in Orange County

Professionals at the Center of the Substance Abuse Crisis met in Orange County Friday to help save lives. The forum was held at the Emergency

Professionals at the Center of the Substance Abuse Crisis met in Orange County Friday to help save lives. The forum was held at the Emergency Services Center in Goshen.

Professionals at the Center of the Substance Abuse Crisis met in Orange County Friday to help save lives. The forum was held at the Emergency Services Center in Goshen. (10/30/15)

ORANGE - Professionals at the Center of the Substance Abuse Crisis met in Orange County Friday to help save lives.

The forum was held at the Emergency Services Center in Goshen.

Organizers say that this is the second year the county has hosted the event to address the heroin epidemic plaguing the county.

Officials say the epidemic claimed 76 lives last year in New York City.

Many of the afflicted told their story at the forum. A mother spoke about losing her son to the opioid epidemic, and an addict and a resident in recovery also spoke.

Dozens of Hudson Valley mental health and substance abuse providers received a different perspective on the disease. Organizers say a medical physician gave his professional opinion about heroin addiction.

"What we are seeing right now is a 500 percent increase in addictions in the last 10 years," says Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus. "Many of those people have a death sentence. So we need to change that."

Officials say there has been 48 drug overdose deaths in Orange County this year.

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