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Senator asks for federal program to help NY heroin epidemic

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Updated: 5/26 10:33 pm
ALBANY, N.Y. - A local senator is calling New York City the heroin hub of the east coast, and points to a flood of drugs feeding and spreading heroin addiction throughout our communities.

New York State Senator Chuck Schumer is calling for an emergency $100 million to fight back what many call a heroin epidemic. 

The money would be used to strengthen intelligence and coordination between police departments so they can better track the traffickers and hopefully stop the movement of the drug. 

“It’s back and it’s stronger than ever before”,” said Schumer.

Schumer says it’s threatening the fabric of our livelihood and it is on the rise, filling new opiate addictions brought on by a rise of prescription pill abuse.

“Because it’s just cheaper.  You can actually get heroin, a more dangerous drug, for a lot less on the streets than you can get Vicodin or Oxycontin pills,” he said. 

Once it’s in the northeast, drug dealers use heroin highways to traffic their product. However, Schumer says the source of the drug, is the Mexican border. He believes drug cartels are cashing in on a growing trend in the northeast. 

“It hurts Upstate New York and it hurts the whole northeast region,” Schumer says.

In the first few months of 2014, New York City has seized 288 pounds of heroin. However, the drug first spiked back in 2012, becoming one of the most dominate drugs on the market since trends began being monitored more than 20 years ago. 

“And it’s just May, so there are more seizers in the first five months of this year than any full year since 1991,” said Schumer. 

Since October 2013, 35-percent of all heroin seized by the DEA was caught in New York State.  

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