News 12 Special Report: 'Hooked on Heroin' Part 2

A recovering addict from New Rochelle says a Westchester treatment center saved his life.

A recovering addict from New Rochelle says a Westchester treatment center saved his life. (3/11/14)

NEW ROCHELLE - In the second part of News 12's special report "Hooked on Heroin," a recovering heroin addict from New Rochelle is sharing his story of how a Westchester treatment center saved his life.

Brian Barry, 23, says the Guidance Center saved his life. Barry started getting into marijuana and alcohol when he was 10 years old, but he turned to prescription pills a few years later. He was initially afraid of needles and wouldn't think of trying heroin, but by the time he was 17, he was addicted.

The former baseball player and A-student was eventually kicked out of high school in New Rochelle. Barry says he was committing robberies to feed his addiction and spent time in jail as a teenager for burglary before getting arrested three more times. After facing more time in prison when he failed a drug test in a halfway house, Barry knew he needed help. He turned to the Guidance Center in New Rochelle, where he says he's learned that he can be more than the mistakes he made in the past.

"I'm not going to throw it all away for a 10-minute high," says Barry. "I've given the drug so much already, I'm not giving it anything else."

Donald Johnson is the director of the Guidance Center in New Rochelle, Westchester's only free-standing methadone clinic. He says he sees 249 patients a day, a number that's skyrocketed recently. Officials say the high rate of heroin addiction in the Hudson Valley is deadlier as well; heroin-related deaths in the Hudson Valley have nearly doubled in the past four years and Johnson says most of the deaths are people under 30.

Johnson says many addicts start out with prescription pills and turn to heroin because it's cheaper and more potent. He blames an overprescription of painkillers like Oxycontin for the rise in heroin addiction.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Trending Video

News 12 asked residents what they thought about 1 Westchester Talks Trump: First 100 days
Police say Kenya Reed witnessed Blair Robinson beat 2 Yonkers mother charged in connection to son's death
News 12 Interactive 3 News 12 Varsity Report for April 28
Extended interview with Greenpoint igloo creators 4 Extended interview with Greenpoint igloo creators
News 12's Andrew Ehinger counts down the top 5 Hot for the Holidays: Gift 1

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

News 12's Tara Rosenblum spoke to Port Jervis News 12 Special Report: 'Hooked on Heroin'

The use of heroin has risen over the past few years in the Hudson Valley.

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE