The Senate Joint Task Force on heroin and opioid addiction held a forum hosted by Senator Joseph Griffo to discuss the growing problem of opioid addiction in the Mohawk Valley.

President of Insight House Donna Vitagliano said the most important thing to focus on is educating parents and school children on the dangers of abusing heroin and opiates.

Vitagliano says in the Mohawk Valley alone Insight House has seen an increase of 15-20% in heroin and opioid use in just the last year.

She added that new laws governing prescription opioid use is making it harder for addicts to abuse prescription drugs, and they are turning to heroin as a result.

The task force has just eight weeks left to propose legislation and attempt to pass it in the Senate before the current legislative session ends.