Nassau police: Island Park heroin arrests skyrocket in 2017
Nassau police say the small village of Island Park ranks third in the number of heroin arrests per capita in the county.
Over the last six months, there have been nearly twice as many heroin arrests in Island Park than there were in all of 2016.
Glen Inoglia is one of the residents who has witnessed the opioid epidemic hitting close to home. His 29-year-old nephew died a few years ago from opiate addiction, and other deaths followed.
“In fact, within a week or two around his death there were like four or five others in Island Park that had either passed or OD’ed on opiates,” he says.
Business owner Filippo Bellia says he too has witnessed the crisis.
“Actually we’ve unfortunately come across a few employees that had a problem with this,” he says. “It is there. It is right on your doorstep unfortunately.”
Even though the statistic in Island Park may seem alarming, drug abuse counselors say they're not that surprised.
“If you have a cluster of users who begin buying, selling and trading with each other, it doesn't take a lot to begin to form a pattern,” says Jeff Reynolds, of the Family and Children’s Association.
Reynolds says more local treatment centers and post-addiction care are needed to battle the drug crisis on the Island.
Island Park boasts about 5,000 residents. The two, much-larger, communities that are ranked higher than Island Park are Massapequa and Bethpage.