"You could clearly see my eyes and how high I was," said Danielle Barbella of Eltingville, pointing to a picture taken when she was 26-years-old.
At the time, she says she was addicted to prescription pills, sometimes popping 30 a day.
"The fact that I am even alive in this picture is remarkable, it's a miracle," she said.
After getting arrested and forced into treatment, Barbella has been clean for four years now and is now a volunteer with Carl’s House, a service that connects addicts with resources that can help them recover.
The Richmond County District Attorney’s office reports 48 fatal overdoses on the island so far this year.
The NYPD is now stepping up its efforts, reassigning 15 officers from other boroughs to investigate overdoses and focus on finding who’s supplying the drugs.
"We all kind of in this community waited a little too long to do something about it but at the end of the day we're here now doing something about it so we just hope for the best," said Barbella.
The State is also stepping up its efforts to curb the problem. Governor Andrew Cuomo’s first drug task force meeting on Staten Island will be held Wednesday at 3:15 at the CYO Center on Hylan Blvd. The goal is for task force members to get ideas as to how to improve prevention, treatment, and recovery efforts.
"I was honored to be appointed to the governor’s task force," said Adrienne Abbate with the Staten Island Partnership for Community Wellness.
Abbate is also the director of the ‘Tackling Youth Substance Abuse’ initiative. The coalition is working to reduce opioid use among teens and young adults in the borough.
She hopes Wednesday's public meeting can help achieve that goal.
"This is an opportunity for people to come out and share very creative and targeted solutions and for us to cull through it and come up with a set of recommendations for the state legislature," said Abbate.
Barbella said she plans on attending the meeting and hopes it can help.
"I hope that at one point we can go from ‘heroin island’ to one of the strongest recovery communities in the Unites States," said Barbella.
Richmond County District Attorney, Michael McMahon, will be attending the meeting Wednesday.
"It is no secret that heroin and prescription drugs have wreaked havoc on Staten Island residents. In order for us to curb this crisis, we must first come together as a community and develop real, meaningful solutions. One of the missions of the Governor’s Statewide Task Force to Combat Heroin and Prescription Opioid Crisis has been to hold meetings throughout the state in communities that have been deeply impacted by the scourge of addiction. As a member of the Governor’s Task Force, I implore Staten Islanders to come together and give their suggestions for ways that we can stomp out the drug epidemic in our community before it destroys even more lives," said McMahon.
"I also want to applaud the NYPD for reassigning more narcotics detectives to Staten Island to help in this fight, but unfortunately we need more resources from the City and State for education and prevention efforts and treatment for those in need, and we need additional ADAs and staff in my office to handle the surge of cases and families in need of assistance," he continued.
"In many ways, this is the war of our generation and to quote Winston Churchill—‘We shall not fail or falter. We shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job,’" McMahon added.