Heroin addiction: Finding help in others

This week, WHCU has been taking a closer look at the growing problem of heroin in Ithaca and Tompkins County.

On Thursday, we heard from John Barry, the executive director of the Southern Tier Aids Program, who discussed the syringe exchange program, which works to reduce the spread of disease by allowing heroin users to exchange dirty needles with clean syringes.

Today, we hear from someone who has struggled with drug addiction for most of his life.

David A., who chose to remain anonymous for this story, says no one should have to go through recovery alone.

“For those who come into it, we help you help you,” he says. “Even though it’s ultimately up to you to go take the process, certainly you don’t have to go through anything alone.”

David has been attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings for the past five years, which he says helped him get his life back on track.

“Acceptance and surrender are the first keys,” David says. “I must be willing to accept that I have an issue, surrender to that issue, and take the appropriate steps.”

More from our series:

Part 1: Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson on Ithaca’s growing heroin problem.

Part 2: Rich Bennett, treatment director at Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services, on the spike in heroin usage.

Part 3: Ithaca Police Officer Jamie Williamson on the increase in heroin-related arrests.

Part 4: John Barry, Executive Director of the Southern Tier Aids Program, on their syringe exchange program.

More Local Headlines

in Local

Good try, Yoko, but Ithaca always wins


Yoko Ono organized attempt in honor of late husband John Lennon, who would've turned 75 this year; Ithaca attempt at peace sign brought out 5,800 people

in Local

New York ranked number one for energy efficiency


A study by WalletHub shows New York's efficient use of energy for homes and vehicles overall is second to none.

in Local

City officials debate traffic patterns for 11-story building proposal


One of their ideas is to eliminate a slip lane used by traffic to turn right from Aurora onto East State.

in Local

Gas leak leads to evacuation at Freeville Elementary


Gas smell was discovered just after 9 a.m. inside Freeville Elementary; district officials say students were taken to Cassavant Elementary

in Local

New York officials: Monitor credit report after Experian breach

state leg

New York AG Eric Schneiderman's office is offering tips after data breach at Experian; office says T-Mobile, Experian users may be at risk