MONTROSE, N.Y. -- The Town of Cortlandt is taking action against the recent spate of heroin overdoses that have plagued the area.
Supervisor Linda Puglisi and Hendrick Hudson Schools Superintendent Joseph Hochreiter are hosting "Prescription Drugs and Heroin: What Our Community Needs To Know To Stay Safe" on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at Hendrick Hudson High School from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Two Cortlandt men in their 20s recently died from heroin overdoses and a Montrose man was recently jailed for 40 years for selling heroin. Arrests for heroin distribution have occurred throughout the county.
The event will educate parents on current enforcement and legal activities to reduce heroin and illegal prescription drug sales, how prescription drug use can lead to heroin, treatment and overdose prevention options and strategies the town and school are undertaking.
Panelists include Dr. Steven Kipnis, medical sirector, New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, Robert Kelly, executive director, Westchester Intelligence Center, Angela Alvarado, a district counselor, Jeffrey Veatch, founder of the Justin Veatch Fund and Colleen Anderson, youth center director for the Town of Cortlandt.
"The goal is to raise awareness of what we can do," Anderson said. "We want to move forward and educate the community. We want to answer any questions the community might have."
Anderson said prescription drug use has led to the increase of heroin abuse in the area.
"Kids have gotten injured and been prescribed oxycotin and vicodin," Anderson said. "They've moved onto heroin. It's having a huge impact. It's almost at an epidemic level. It's hit this community hard."
Anderson said heroin has also become very cheap for people.
"We want to educate the community about the dangers of drugs," Anderson said. "They are out there and kids are using them. Hopefully we can save children's lives."