Oneida County officials are taking steps to combat the heroin epidemic.

An Opiate Task Force has been formed to deal with the problem.

County Executive Anthony Picente says the Department of Mental Health has held regular meetings with service providers and agencies about how to combat the opioid problem through better education and treatment.

Cassandra Sheets, CEO of the Center for Life and Family Recovery in Utica, says heroin addiction is a growing problem in the community.

Sheriff Rob Maciol has applied for $4,500 in state funding to train and equip 39 deputies with naloxone, a nasal spray that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

The state Senate recently introduced a package of 25 bills to address the heroin problem following a series of forums across the state.

Senator Joe Griffo held a forum in Utica in April.