SOMERS, N.Y. – The décor of the historic Elephant Hotel in Somers provided a lighthearted backdrop for a serious topic on Wednesday, Feb. 22, as more than 25 advocacy groups and drug treatment providers gathered for an Addiction Resource Round Table sponsored by state Sen. Terrence Murphy.

One of the main objectives of the round table discussion was to evaluate the effectiveness of laws and regulations relating to drug treatment and to assess ideas for future legislation. Other topics included insurance coverage, prevention and treatment. The round table also helped to open the lines of communication between community activists, providers and elected officials.

“This is a prime opportunity to get many of the most noted experts on treatment in one room,” Murphy said. “We want this meeting to serve as a catalyst to help community-based organizations get to know each other and establish a strategy that will have a positive impact on their effectiveness.”

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Guest speakers included Putnam County Court Judge James F. Reitz, who conveyed his experiences presiding over Drug Treatment Court, and Somers Town Supervisor Rick Morrissey, who spoke earnestly of his experiences battling the heroin epidemic in his community.

“In order to combat the heroin epidemic that is wreaking havoc on the younger generation within our community and communities across the Hudson Valley, we need a comprehensive plan that incorporates input from stakeholders at all levels,” Morrissey said. “Sen. Murphy’s round table provided a forum for public officials, healthcare providers and community leaders to have an open dialogue and develop a strategy for how best to provide the necessary resources and support for individuals and families dealing with the horrible disease of addiction.”