Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Fatal heroin overdoses on the rise in New York City

Source: Reuters - Thu, 28 Aug 2014 15:13 GMT
Author: Reuters
hum-dis
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

NEW YORK, Aug 28 (Reuters) - The number of deaths from drug overdoses in New York City has steadily risen since 2010, in part because of an apparent resurgence in heroin use, according to data released on Thursday by the city's health department.

Heroin overdoses killed 420 people in the city in 2013, the highest number in a decade, the health department said. The illegal drug was the most common substance involved in overdose deaths, involved in 54 percent of all incidents last year.

The largest increase in rates of heroin overdoses was seen in the city's wealthiest neighborhoods, the department said, rising to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 people in 2013, from 1.9 in 2010.

The surge in heroin use gained attention in February, when actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead in his New York City apartment on Feb. 2 with a needle in his arm. Authorities attributed his death to an overdose of heroin and other drugs.

Overdoses from methadone, which can be used to treat heroin addiction, and prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone have held relatively stable between 2010 and 2013, according to the data. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Doina Chiacu)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus