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Movie theaters start anti-heroin campaign

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Timed for the “peak” movie-going season between mid-December and early January, theaters across New York State started playing public service announcements Friday about heroin addiction, before the showing of select films rated PG-13 and R.

“This campaign reminds us that addiction can happen to any family,” said New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, as he announced Phase Two of his Combat Heroin efforts.

The heroin and prescription drug abuse crisis in New York State– and the nation–has impacted many young people in their teens and 20s.

It’s prompted government, and law enforcement, to increase funding for educational programs.

PIX11 News presented a six-part series in November called “Heroin: A to Z,” which looked in-depth at this drug epidemic that’s destroying many middle-class lives. You can view our reports at http://www.pix11.com/heroin.

The state’s #CombatHeroin campaign has reached 14 million people, through the use of social media. The web site on Friday added 10 “real story” videos that feature recovering addicts discussing their struggles with opiates (heroin and painkillers like Oxycodone).

In 2013, 91,000 people in New York State sought admissions to treatment centers to address their addiction to heroin and prescription opioids.

Here in New York City, 420 people died in 2013 from heroin overdoses, a number that doubled in a three-year period. At one point in 2012, one person was fatally overdosing on Staten Island every five days. A ‘miracle drug’ called Narcan has helped reverse many overdoses.

For more information, you can go to http://www.combatheroin.ny.gov/.

There’s also a HOPEline you can call at 1-877-846-7369.