Local

Heroin in Ithaca: Abundant, available and highly profitable

Heroin in Ithaca: Abundant, available and highly profitable

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

From local law enforcement, to area treatment agencies to anti-drug and alcohol advocates, everyone seems to agree that there is no shortage of heroin in the region.

Tompkins County District Attorney Gwen Wilkinson says the county has seen a significant increase in crimes that involve possession or sale of heroin.

“The people entering treatment court with heroin or opiate addiction as a primary reason for getting into treatment has gone way up,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson says part of the reason for the increase in usage is the fact that the drug is so abundant for users, and highly profitable for dealers.

“The profit margin on heroin is bigger than the profit margin on cocaine, and it is abundantly available,” she said.

According to data from Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services, one of Ithaca’s two primary treatment agencies, a little over 13 percent of the addicts entering treatment in the year 2007 were addicted to heroin, opiates or oxycontin. In 2012, that number was 48 percent, making it an increase of 35 percent over the last five years.

And those numbers just scratch the surface of how abundant and widespread the drug has become.

Listen to The Morning Newswatch Tuesday when we’ll hear from Rich Bennett, the treatment director at Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services, who has seen firsthand the toll the drug has taken on thousands of local residents.

More Local Headlines

in Local

Reed visits Ithaca, promotes hospice legislation

Congressman Tom Reed [R-NY], left, discusses his hospice care legislation with employees at Hospicare of Ithaca. Dale Johnson, the center's executive director, is pictured right.

Congressman Tom Reed was in Ithaca Thursday as part of his push to get a bill passed to improve Hospice care.

in Local

Man drives wrong way on I-81 in Cortland County, crashes SUV

crime2

Police say he drove off the highway, lost control of his SUV and overturned in the median.

in Local

Cops: Man had pot, bombs, guns in his upstate home

Local_News41-620x400

Troopers say the man had three assault rifles, 13 homemade explosive devices, and 14 military-grade smoke and riot grenades.

in Local

Video footage shows two burglaries at area gas stations

Video surveillance provided by the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office shows an unknown suspect stealing a carton of cigarettes from the Dandy Mini Mart on 2102 Mecklenburg Road in the Town of Enfield.

It's not clear if the same suspect was involved in both incidents.

in Local

One dead, two injured in Route 89 crash

crime

Crash happened around 2:30 Wednesday afternoon on Route 89 in Covert