One of the key components to fight what Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas described as a “heroin crisis” on Long Island is awareness of the issue.
So, her office reaching out to the Islanders for help resulted in fan favorite Matt Martin recording a public service announcement currently airing on the MSG Networks as well as on WRHU, which broadcasts the team’s games.
“The Islanders organization is taking this very seriously,” Singas said before Tuesday night’s game against the Hurricanes at NYCB Live’s Nassau Coliseum.
Singas brought approximately 12 Nassau County middle- and high-schoolers to the game, with the Islanders providing the tickets as she works on her three-prong approach to fighting the heroin problem in the area.
“We thought getting the awareness out there was important,” Singas said of involving the Islanders and Martin. “It’s multi-faceted. One is enforcement and prosecution. Two is the outreach efforts. Three is treatment.”
During the 30-second PSA, also available on YouTube, Martin notes, “Hockey can hurt. But no amount of pain can compare to the heartbreak of losing a loved one to addiction. In 2016, 195 lives were lost due to drug overdoses in Nassau County. In 2017, that number was 184.”
In 2015, Singas’ office set up funding for the New Hope center in Freeport and she said 2,000 people have been treated there so far with an average stay of 10 days after coming from an emergency room.
“We are facing a heroin crisis in Nassau County, as in the country,” Singas said.
Singas’ office has also set up a website – www.heroinprevention.com – with more information on how to seek treatment.