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Town Hall Meeting In Amherst Focuses On Treatment Options | News

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Town Hall Meeting In Amherst Focuses On Treatment Options
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AMHERST, N.Y. -- Wednesday, treatment providers and law enforcement, attended a town hall meeting in Amherst, that addressed the heroin epidemic impacting the suburban community.

In 2015, there were 17 heroin overdose deaths in Amherst, compared to 5 fatal heroin overdoses in 2014. The average age of the deceased was 34.

Amherst Police talked about how law enforcement works closely with families that are unsuccessful in convincing their loved ones to seek treatment.

"We work with them, to file criminal charges, against their loved one, who is addicted, and they're put in our drug court, where treatment is mandated," Detective Lt. Joann Dinoto explains.

The Town of Amherst's drug court, that helps non-violent offenders, currently has 145 active participants.

"It is an alternative to incarceration, that's what drug court is," said Eileen Logsdon, director of Amherst Therapeutic Courts.

There's a minimum of one year of monitoring in drug court, including random screens, and graduation from drug court may result in criminal charges being reduced.

"When someone has a charge in Amherst, we would look at if its appropriate for our drug court, and we would offer them treatment, to get the help that they need."

The Amherst Police Department is also one of six police departments locally, involved in a program to treat, not arrest addicts.
Erie County is taking the lead on putting this program together.


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