Heroin and opioid addiction is tearing families apart at rates never before seen. Some addicts are stitching their lives together with lots of help, while others are seemingly struggling as they look to get clean on their own.

Hear from addicts, their families, addiction program professionals and a drug dealer on just how prevalent — and dangerous — the heroin epidemic is in every New York community.

Spectrum News presents The Cost of Heroin on Tuesday, May 22, beginning at 7 p.m. Following the special at 8 p.m. join us for a live town hall with local law enforcement representatives, political leaders, and addiction specialists who will focus on solutions. The show will air again on May 24 at 9 p.m.; and the show and the town hall will re-air on May 26 and May 27 starting at 8 p.m.

Where to get help
  • New York State HOPEline: 1-877-8-HOPENY
  • For addicts and families in need of food, clothing and emotional support, call Hope Dealers #BeTheChange at (585) 633-8690.
  • For grief support group meetings and families in recovery meetings, call S.O.A.R.S. Inc. at (585) 771-0896.
  • For access to treatment and addiction support services, call Gates to Recovery at (585) 310-4080.
  • For individuals seeking addiction treatment and recovery services, call Find Your Path at (585) 622-4975.
  • For addiction client evaluations and referrals, call Open Access at (585) 627-1777.



Opioids are a class of drugs naturally found in the opium poppy plant, including heroin, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and pain relievers, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine and many others.

According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, opioids are often used as medicines because they contain chemicals that relax the body and can relieve pain. Opioids can cause people to feel "high" and are very addictive.  According to the NIDA, heroin is one of the world's most dangerous opioids.