Forum teaches public about the realities of heroin

The words being spoken at the Fayetteville YMCA are the beginning of a conversation.

Roni Robinson and Barry Lasky are strangers with nothing in common, but inside a packed community forum they came to learn more about the one thing they do share.

Heroin use by a family member.

"Even yesterday I asked her if I failed her in someway, because I wish I could have done more," says Robinson.

"It's angering, it's frustrating. When you find evidence that there's been use after it's died down. You don't know what to do, you'd like to reach out and strangle somebody and shake them, but that's not gonna help," says Lasky.

Some of the help they received were experts who work with heroin telling them about the availability of programs for heroin users at both Upstate and Crouse hospitals, as well as ACR Health.

If there's any one piece of information these experts want the community to walk away with from this forum, it's for them to be aware of the reality of this problem.

Melissa Hosier lost her 19 year old daughter to a heroin overdose this past November. "It's become everywhere and it's happening everyday and people need to be aware and just talk to their kids and just talk about it in general," says Hosier.

Bags containing syringes and wallets taken from drug busts were passed around and heroin was shown off to show what it looks like, hoping to educate the community and trying to prevent future use.

"I know it's not easy, this is something we've been battling for quite a long time," says Lasky.

Police say to look through children's phones and computers for black tar, horse or thunder. All code words for heroin.