Attacking the drug crisis in Cayuga County

Derek Barnish’s journey with addiction started when he was 15-years-old with alcohol. Over the years, his addiction grew to include pain pills and opiates. The vices took control of his life. He lost friends, his job – even those closest to him began to distance themselves.

“The family who had always been there for me, always given me a place to stay, always took care of me, finally turned to me and said we can’t do this anymore. You can’t live here. You can’t stay here. We can’t talk to you. It got to the point where I was homeless,” Barnish said.

Even at his lowest point, Barnish said the urges didn’t go away.

“I remember being in a hotel room and being down on my knees and crying to God to please help me,” he said.

Then Barnish says he had a moment of clarity that saved his life. He knew we has bound by a disease, and he admitted himself into a hospital for help.

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