Fatal Heroin Overdoses
Spike In New York

August 28, 2014 | Marina Galperina

The number of New Yorkers dying from heroin overdoses has doubled over the last three years. The New York Times reports:

In all, 420 people fatally overdosed on heroin in 2013 out of a total of 782 drug overdoses, rising to a level not seen in a decade in both absolute numbers and as a population-adjusted rate, according to preliminary year-end data from the city’s health department.

The data, which will be released today, has tracked the shift in users. It cites a notable rise in deaths for Hispanic male users in their late 40s and 50s in the Bronx as well as “white and higher-income New Yorkers” in Staten Island and affluent areas of north Bronx and eastern Queens.

While the article focuses on the emergency state of the situation, it fails to mention the various heroin contamination alerts issued around the city for a few years. It notes the opioid and heroin problem in the suburbs of Long Island as having had a detrimental effect on nearby New York City areas, but not the government report issued for fentanyl contamination of heroin in Long Island.

Naloxone anti-overdose kits recently issued to cops and emergency personnel was used to reverse over 500 overdoses since 2010. Forward drug treatment programs in places such as Vermont could also help. (Photo: Eric Molina)