I saw one of the most disturbing things today while getting gas on my way home. I doubt he'll ever read this as he is a little preoccupied but I hope this guy turns his life around before it is too late.

The opioid crisis in New York State is very real. There is plenty of evidence and data to prove this. According to statistics from the New York State Department of Health, things have only gotten worse in the Hudson Valley over the past few years. Overdose deaths have been on the rise all over the region. Dutchess county is one of the highest in the state. Rockland and Ulster County are also high on the list.

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I have seen used needles on the ground a few times since I have moved to the Hudson Valley. One thing I have never seen until today was somebody using heroin. I stopped at a gas station in Poughkeepsie today to fill up and on the way out I happen to look at the car parked next to the pump in front of me. A woman was in the driver's seat helping a man tie his arm off while he held a syringe in his mouth. They both looked right at me and we made eye contact for a moment. It took me a moment to process what they were doing.  He actually shot up at the gas pump. They didn't try to hide in a parking spot away from others. I thought that they would stop when they saw me but they just went back to it like I was silly for staring at them. Other customers walked by in disgust.

Am I shaming these people? Possibly but that's not my intention. I hope this person gets help. I hope the female enabling this man gets help as well.

Dutchess County has a website and helpline for you to find resources. The number is 845-485-9700.

I don't know what rock bottom is for a heroin user is but I have to imagine that getting your fix in a car while dozens of people can see you has to be close. I have lost several friends and classmates to heroin overdoses. I don't know you but I don't want you to meet the same fate.

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