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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.

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