The sentencing of former Plattsburgh State student Kevin Quigley to four years in prison determinate, passed down on Oct. 16, has broadened the conversation of the increasing illicit drug problem in the North Country.

Quigley, who was sentenced by Clinton County Judge Kevin Ryan, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal sale of a controlled substance and two counts of third-degree possession of a controlled substance after selling heroin on Jan. 30 and Feb. 6, 2013.

Quigley was one of seven people to be arrested in a drug sweep pulled off by area law enforcement officials in May 2013.

PSUC University Police Chief Arlene Sabo said the 2013 sweep was necessitated by a major increase of illegal drugs over the past several years.

“Plattsburgh is like any other community,” Sabo said. “We’re certainly not immune to the growing drug problems.”

After New York began cracking down on prescription drug abuse in August 2013, communities all across the state saw a spike in the demand for heroin due to its accessability and affordability, Sabo said.

In 2012, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman spearheaded the implementation of a system known the Internet System for Tracking Over-Prescribing Act, or simply I-STOP.

The new law required doctors to check a patient’s narcotic prescription history before issuing or refilling a prescription.

The law also created a real-time database to track every narcotic prescription filled in the state.

Schneiderman said the growing problem of prescription drug abuse was made easier by a person’s ability to go “doctor-shopping” and get several prescriptions filled at a time.

The law, he said, will end the ability to do that in the state.

“Heroin is much easier to obtain now than pills or other types of drugs,” Sabo said.

In 2006, New York began allowing non-medical persons to administer the medication Narcan, which is used as an antidote to overdoses to heroin or other opiods.

University Police officers at PSUC are qualified to administer Narcan, Sabo said, in the case that a student overdoses on opiods on the PSUC campus, which she said is not likely due to the amount of surveillance performed on campus. However, she mentioned the growing prevalence of cases such as Quigley’s, where students become wrapped up in the drug scene.

“We have had instances of overdose in the community; we have also had students overdose, not on campus, but some who lived off campus,” Sabo said. “It’s just a sad state of affairs here.”

Students affected by this issue can reach out to several different area resources including Conifer Park, Behavioral Health Services North and Narcotics Anonymous for help and advice.

Email Maggie McVey at news@cardinalpointsonline.com.

<a href="http://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/maggie-mcvey/" rel="tag">Maggie McVey</a>

7 thoughts on “Quigley sentencing raises drug concerns”

  1. im happy there is no news in plattsburgh that a young individuals drug history and conviction needs to be put on the front page. Cardinal points i am so disappointed in you for hurting the reputation of a student rather than support a fellow student, and member of our community. The writer and editor should be embarrassed to publish this anywhere, absolutely disgusted.

    1. Christine, we appreciate your thoughts and concerns. We hope that you and other members of the Plattsburgh State community understand that we are not owned by the school and are by no means a publication that is printed solely to make our school and our students look good. There are a lot of positive things that go on around campus that we always cover, but we are journalists. This means we unfortunately have to cover the not-so-pretty side of PSUC as well. Our job is to spread the word of all the things happening in our school, and the drug problem is a growing issue. We are sorry that it seems as if we exploited your friend, but Kevin Quigley has openly spoken to us about his drug history in a previous interview. This story was an update of his case. Another story was published about his sentencing in the Press-Republican. We hope you understand that it would have been journalistically unethical for us not to update the school community. If you would like to further discuss your concerns, please email cp@cardinalpointsonline.com or come talk to us in our office, which is located in Ward Hall, room 118.

  2. How is it disgusting. It’s news. That’s what happens in the real world when you do illegal things….. it gets published.

  3. I hope that suny will recognize the real problems with drugs in this town and take it on. These kids need help and the support is very limited. There are many more students with similar issues that need help now!

    1. Congrats on your 1.5 stars on this. it’s sad that the only story you had for headlines was one about how a troubled student’s future is ruined. This was written in such poor taste, you should all be embarrassed.

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