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Sheriff, doctor outline opioid problems in Wayne County

The conference room at the Palmyra Library was filled to capacity Monday night with people wanting to learn more about the opioid crisis in Wayne County and the Finger Lakes region.

Sponsored by the Citizens’ Response Network of Wayne County, the panel forum featured Wayne County Sheriff and New York State Sheriffs Association President Barry Virts; Dr. Charles Morgan, medical director for both the New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services and the Wayne Behavioral Health Network’s Substance Abuse Addiction Services Program; and Chris Thomas, senior program supervisor for Wayne Behavioral Health Network.

Crime is increasing because addiction is on the rise, Virts asserted.

“They just want to get the money to buy their next hit, and they’ll do almost anything to get it,” Virts said. “Ninety-to-95 percent of our inmates have some sort of substance abuse problem. A third of those desperately want to get help with their addiction, another third will eventually get there, and the last third will, sadly, die as addicts.”

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