NYC OVERDOSE DEATHS
A fatal overdose occurs every 3 hours in NYC
Source: New York Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 2020
TRAGICALLY, FATAL DRUG OVERDOSES REACHED AN ALL-TIME HIGH IN NEW YORK CITY DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC WITH :
COVID-19 and the Opioid Epidemic
Overdose deaths reached historic highs in New York City during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. During the 12 months ending in March of 2021, fatal overdoses increased by an estimated 38.6%, according to the CDC. More than 2,300 people suffered fatal overdoses in the city during that period, with the vast majority involving heroin and/or the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl. Laboratory testing by DEA and the NYPD show fentanyl is present in much of the heroin sold in New York City. Fentanyl is also mixed with cocaine, methamphetamine and benzodiazepines, and pressed into counterfeit prescription pills.
A flood of heroin and fentanyl is entering New York City in 2021. SNP investigations resulted in the seizure of more fentanyl in January of 2021 that in all of 2020. During the early stages of the pandemic, drug networks bought and sold narcotics at inflated prices due to a shortage in supply stemming from travel restrictions. The deadly nature of the narcotics is reflected in brand names such as "coronavirus," "anthrax" and "black mamba". Fentanyl is involved in 77 percent of all New York City drug overdose deaths.
The opioid epidemic came in three waves.
Overprescribing of prescription opioids
False advertising by pharmaceutical companies and overprescribing by doctors fueled a crisis of addiction to opioid painkillers nationwide beginning in the 1990s. Drug rings developed methods of obtaining fraudulent prescriptions. Unscrupulous medical practitioners got rich selling prescriptions for opioids in exchange for cash while overdose deaths climbed. Read More
Heroin production ramps up
New York City serves as a major hub of heroin trafficking for the Northeast. Local distribution networks coordinate with drug cartels in Mexico to transport multi-million-dollar shipments of heroin to the area. The cartels seized upon the crisis of opioid painkiller addiction in the U.S. as an opportunity to ramp up production of heroin, creating a multi-billion-dollar industry and further escalating overdose deaths beginning in approximately 2010.
Influx of synthetic opioids
50X stronger than Heroin
A highly potent synthetic opioid, illicitly produced fentanyl is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. It is sold interchangeably with heroin, mixed with other drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, and pressed into counterfeit pills.