NYC Drug Overdoses Have More than Doubled
By now most are aware of the tight and deadly grip that prescription opioids currently have on New York City, New York State and the rest of the country. For those who remain unfamiliar, perhaps the new data from the New York City Department of Health will shed some more light on the subject. A new report form the department reveals a 66 percent increase in fatal overdoses over five years. In 2015 alone, New York City saw 937 overdose fatalities. Some of the more alarming specifics of the report include 51 percent spike in heroin overdoses among New York’s Latino community between 2014-2015 and 46 percent increase in fatalities in the Bronx, a borough that had more fentanyl overdoses in 2015 than any other.
The extreme and frightening rate of fatality in the Bronx has caused officials to pay particularly close attention and redouble their efforts. One way they’re doing this by expanding access to Narcan to vulnerable residents and the community at large. The report comes a short time after Andrew Cuomo has instituted sweeping reforms in Albany to aggressively combat drug fatality, particularly those stemming from heroin and prescription opioids. The crux of this reform includes expanding access to treatment and placing tighter restrictions on opioid dispensation. The city is also battling a consistent problem with prescription benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium and Klonopin.
The journey from New York City to Long Island is less than 60 miles. We live in an age where many of the problems of nearby towns might as well be our problems as well. Spillover from other New York City has undoubtedly contributed to the opioid epidemic we’re experiencing in Long Island. While we continue to battle our own internal painkiller crisis, it’s altogether scary to consider that the problem is being compounded by markets in close proximity, and that we’re victims of geography.