From Opioid Epidemic’s Front Lines, Filling In the Brutal Back Story

(New York Times) ELIZABETHTOWN, N.Y. — As a county coroner here, Frank Whitelaw has an unusual perspective to share with local students on the opioid crisis. He is the one who examines the bodies.

But it is the families of the victims who get to him. “That is the most heart-wrenching part of this job,” he said. “I can deal with bodies all day and all night, to a degree, but when you are talking to the family, you feel that raw anguish. It’s horrible.”

Click to view full article.

No Arrests If Calling 911 During Drug Overdose: NYPD

NBC New York — An NYPD public service campaign aims to alert drug users - and witnesses - that they won't be arrested if they call 911 during an overdose emergency.

The campaign will be focused on areas like Staten Island and the Bronx where drug use is highest.

Under the state's 911 Good Samaritan Law, people who need emergency care for a drug or alcohol overdose can call 911 without fear of arrest. That also applies to someone who witnesses an overdose.

Click to view full article.

Ex-Brooklyn pol busted in Medicaid, painkiller scam hit with more charges

Daily News — A former Brooklyn state assemblyman previously busted for his role in a Medicaid and painkiller scam was slapped with additional charges Wednesday, authorities said.

Alec Brook-Krasny, 59, an ex-rep whose district covered Coney Island, surrendered to the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor to face additional charges in connection to a scheme in which three Brooklyn clinics acted as pill mills.

Click to view full article.

Overdose Deaths Increased by Half in New York City Last Year, and Fentanyl is to Blame

New York City recorded 1,374 unintentional drug overdoses last year, a jump of 46 percent compared with the 2015 total of 937, according to new data released by the city this week. That marked the sixth consecutive year that fatal overdoses increased in the city, and the rate rose among all demographic groups, said the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

Click to view full article.

Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever

NEW YORK TIMES — Drug overdose deaths in 2016 most likely exceeded 59,000, the largest annual jump ever recorded in the United States, according to preliminary data compiled by The New York Times.

The death count is the latest consequence of an escalating public health crisis: opioid addiction, now made more deadly by an influx of illicitly manufactured fentanyl and similar drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50.

Click to view full article.