Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Editor’s note: This is the first in a new monthly column exploring the local impact of the national heroin and opioid crisis. Contact the author via [email protected] a child growing up in Plainview, Garrett Kassler loved the Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Once a teenager, it was water and the outdoors. He wanted to open a scuba diving shop, live on the beach, and enjoy a simple life.His parents, Lee and Lisa, had moved to the upper middle-class suburb when Garrett was a baby, as it promised great schools, little to no crime, a good neighborhood and the perfect place to raise a family.“We watched our children [including daughter Erica, now 24] flourish from pre-K through high school,” Lee says. “We were active in the PTA, we both coached soccer and Little League, we watched our children closely and made sure they stayed out of trouble.”Garrett first had trouble dealing with stress while away as a college freshman. A campus doctor prescribed Xanax. His parents were comforted that it was a physician. But Garrett’s mood and behavior began changing.He eventually told his parents he couldn’t stop taking the anti-anxiety medication. They brought him home, sent him to therapy and the “Xanax problem” appeared to be resolved. Then, oxycodone and, ultimately, heroin, replaced Xanax. For the next eight years, Garrett was in and out of rehabilitation facilities.“This was our life now,” Lisa says. “We needed to accept the fact that our son was an addict and find help… . We were always proud of him, never ashamed. We learned he had a disease, and it not only affects the user but everyone in the household.”Garrett seemed to improve and enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. But a call came a few weeks into boot camp. Garrett, unable to meet the vigorous demands, was discharged. Home again, he continued to use drugs.In 2014, Garrett’s doctor prescribed Vivitrol®, an opioid-receptor blocker that stopped his cravings and blocked him from getting high. It worked well.Clean for 14 months, Garrett volunteered with Nassau County’s drug education and awareness programs, speaking at events and sitting on the Heroin Prevention Task Force. He helped launch the county’s “Shot at Life” (Vivitrol®) program and became a recovery coach. He planned to become a credentialed alcohol and substance abuse counselor.But he wasn’t in drug treatment. Months after stopping Vivitrol®, he relapsed, and the cycle of using and stopping began again.“Never once did he deny being an addict,” Lee says. “He’d say, ‘I am wired just a little different then many of you. No rhyme or reason. I just have to deal with it.’”On Feb. 4, 2017, excited after he passed a drug test and landed a new job, Garrett Kassler would use once more and overdose in his Plainview home at the age of 26. It was Fentanyl, and powerful painkiller often added to heroin, that killed him.Garrett was one of 195 people to die from opioids in Nassau that year, including another Plainview man his age. The other 194 came from Massapequa, Long Beach, Manhasset, Floral Park and Oceanside. No area is exempt. Suffolk County’s fatal overdose numbers are even higher than those in Nassau.“Remember, if it could happen to us, it could happen to anyone,” Lee says. “The drug crisis is real. Addiction is real.”Weeks later, the Kasslers started a nonprofit in his name: The Garrett L Kassler Memorial Fund. Their goal: “to make recovery possible – one person, one family, one life at a time.”Garrett’s high school principal wrote on the foundation’s and school’s website about the student he knew well at Plainview-Old Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School.“His tremendous smile and great laugh were infectious, and his wonderful sense of humor could brighten the darkest day,” Principal James Murray wrote. “He was friends with everyone; no peer group was excluded from his kind and welcoming heart.”On Feb . 3, 2018, Lee posted on the memorial fund’s Facebook page.“Tomorrow- One year. Our lives were changed forever. Every day is a rollercoaster of emotion. The sadness, loneliness and heartache, I wish on no one… We miss our boy terribly. Hurt beyond imagine… Life and health are precious. Do not take one moment of it for granted.”WHERE TO FIND HELPLong Island Crisis Center24/7 Crisis Hotline (Call or Text) (516) 679-1111NAFASNassau Alliance for Addiction Services Helpline: (516) 481-4000 nassaualliance.org (community treatment providers)Information & Resourcesheroinprevention.com L.I.C.A.D.D. 24/7 Hotline for Info & Referrals (631) 979-1700For those affected by a loved one’s Substance Use Disorder:• Nar-Anon (516) 318-6134 nar-anon.org• Al-Anon/ Alateen (516) 433-8003 alanon-nassau-ny.org• Families Anonymous (516) 204-3202 familiesanonymous.orgFor Free Naloxone (Narcan) Training Community Calendar of Opioid Overdose Trainingshealth.ny.gov
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police are investigating an armed home invasion last week in Brentwood when a victim was pistol-whipped, authorities said.Three men entered the victim’s apartment, hit the person with a handgun and stole a cell phone and money, before they fled the scene at 12:15 a.m. Thursday, June 2, police said.The identity of the victim and the extent of the injuries were unclear. There were neither any arrests announced nor descriptions of the suspects available.Third Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.
Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:51Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:51 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p432p432p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenStarting your hunt for a dream home00:51 Location dictates price with homes closer to the beach, shopping centres and transport bumping values up. The Coast’s median price is expected to continue to climb.“If you’re located close to Pacific Fair, generally you will pay a premium on that. “It’s the same with houses near Robina Town Centre and potentially Westfield Coomera. Those big infrastructure projects generally help with the pricing of property.”REIQ director John Newlands said inland suburbs including Ashmore, Robina and parts of Burleigh and Palm Beach offered more homes with prices close to the median.While he didn’t think million-dollar properties would dominate the Coast market any time soon, he believed the median would continue to climb.“It’s certainly showing growth and I still see it growing,” he said. “It’s starting to creep up there, but I still think it’s quite affordable.”McGrath Palm Beach agent Lisa Hale said there were plenty of older homes in Elanora and Palm Beach in the $600,000 to $700,000 range.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa14 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag2 days ago“You have a lot of older-style homes in Elanora but they are on good-sized blocks and flat blocks,” she said. “For what you get, it’s still quite affordable. “There’s definitely still good buying in that area.”Vendor Norman Herfurth has his Elanora property on the market with a listing price of $600,000-$650,000. Inside Mr Herfurth’s Elanora property. Picture: Jerad WilliamsHe spent three months renovating the property at 15 Carilla Place, Elanora.“It was quite a well-built house but just neglected,” he said. “It’s a good location and it’s a good property to get your foot in the market.”Ray White Oxenford agent Gail Norton warned prospective buyers to use median house prices for each suburb as a guide only. In some suburbs, including Pimpama, Upper Coomera and parts of Ormeau, she said there were a mix of houses, acreage properties, units and townhouses, which often skewed the median. The Gold Coast’s median house price at the moment is $655,000. Norman Herfurth is the owner of an Elanora property he’s selling in that price range. Picture: Jerad WilliamsTHE Gold Coast is renowned for its multimillion-dollar mansions but the average house in the region is worth much less.Latest CoreLogic data shows the median house price on the Coast is in fact $655,000 — up from $627,000 at the same time last year.So where can house hunters actually buy a house in that price range?REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman Andrew Henderson said location dictated price with homes closer to the beach, shopping centres and transport bumping values up.“Location is going to make a big impact on what you get,” he said. WHAT YOU CAN BUY FOR THE GOLD COAST’S MEDIAN HOUSE PRICE: Norman Herfurth spent three months renovating his Elanora house before listing it. Picture: Jerad Williams North: 10 Rundle Ave, Pimpama — $625,000-$660,000South: 15 Carilla Place, Elanora — $600,000 — $650,000Central: 38 Dandar Drive, Southport — Offers over $610,000Beach: 15 Coombabah Rd, Runaway Bay — $685,000Hinterland: 5-7 Doomben Court, Beechmont — $649,000
MORE: The perfect place to self-isolate Digital Inspections mean renters and buyers can “walk through” the home of their choice no matter where they are during these unprecedented times.Renters and homebuyers will still be able to conduct inspections of homes with the launch of new digital inspections via realestate.com.au after major COVID-19 restrictions were put in place by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:52Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:52 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWays of limiting the spread of COVID-19 at home00:53More from newsCOVID-19 renovation boom: How much Aussies are spending to give their houses a facelift during the pandemic3 days agoWhizzkid buys almost one property a month during COVID-197 days ago Andrew Winter’s discontent leads to bulldozers Realestate.com.au announced the launch hours after Mr Morrison restricted group open-for-inspections alongside a raft of activities being curbed to help Australia flatten the spread of coronavirus. Digital Inspections would see real estate agents use videos – either shot professional or even via iPhone or mobile phone walk-throughs – which would be available to renters and buyers via ‘Inspections’ sections of Buy and Rent listings on realestate.com.au. REA Group chief sales officer, Kul Singh said it was the first of the new features that would be rolled out to support the property market through unprecedented times.“We want our customers and consumers to know that the property market is still open for business and inspections remain open online. We’re doing everything in our power to support the long-term success of the industry.” “Digital Inspections is the first of our new features to help the market adapt to the evolving conditions. We all have a responsibility to flatten the curve when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 and we are focused on helping our customers continue to operate their businesses in a safe environment.”REA Group GM Core Products Tim Bradley said turnaround time for the new feature was key to help consumers.“We mobilised a small team to bring this feature to market as quickly as possible to help our customers successfully adapt to the rapidly changing conditions.”“Digital Inspections is a really user friendly feature – the videos can be professional or even a walk-through taken on a phone. It’s the perfect solution to taking buyers and renters on a digital tour of properties to help them discover features they would normally see when attending a traditional open-for-inspection.”The feature is set to go live on the app in coming days. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER Sweeping changes for real estate off coronavirus restrictions