Opioid Deaths in NY Decline for the First Time in a Decade

First reduction since 2009

Tom Puckett
December 09, 2019 - 2:59 pm

Albany, NY (WBEN) Governor Cuomo says opioid deaths in New York State have dropped in a one year period for the first time since 2009.

Cuomo says opioid overdose deaths among New York State residents, outside New York City, declined 15.9 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, the first decrease in 10 years. While close to 2,000 people died from opioid overdoses last year, he says the decrease remains a significant milestone and is the result of several aggressive actions taken by the Governor over the past several years to combat opioid addiction.

"New York's first reduction in opioid overdose deaths in over ten years is an important milestone and demonstrates our work to combat this deadly scourge is working," Governor Cuomo said. "And while New York has taken the most aggressive actions to combat the opioid crisis of any other state in the country, the opioid epidemic continues to devastate too many families and we will not rest until we put an end to it once and for all."

After years of rising opioid-related overdoses deaths among New York State residents, 2018 finally saw a drop, from 2,170 deaths in 2017, to 1,824 deaths - a 15.9 percent decrease - according to preliminary State Health Department data covering areas outside New York City. Furthermore, hospitalizations for opioid related overdoses decreased 7.1 percent -- from 3,260 in 2017 to 3,029 in 2018. Overdose deaths, hospitalization and other data are included in the most recent New York State County Opioid Quarterly Report.

"New York is reducing overdose deaths for the first time in years, and while we acknowledge the tremendous progress we've made, we know all too well the devastating impact opioid addiction is still having on our families and communities," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, Co-Chair of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force. "Our Heroin and Opioid Task Force Progress Report details three years of work and improvements to combat the opioid crisis and protect and save lives. We are committed to continuing that work to ensure that all opioid-related services get to where they are needed most and end this epidemic once and for all."

Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we have made significant progress combatting addiction, and though we recognize this milestone, even one overdose death is too many. We will continue to work to improve the health of all New Yorkers and reduce rates of addiction and opioid use."

Office of Addiction Services and Supports Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez said, "New York State has made significant efforts in combating the opioid crisis following the recommendations of Governor Cuomo's Heroin and Opioid Task Force. Through the implementation of innovative programs, we have increased access to treatment; improved support for those in recovery; expanded awareness of heroin and opioid addiction; and enhanced statewide prevention efforts. As there is more work to be done, we will continue taking aggressive actions to ensure that New Yorkers affected by this disease are protected."

Comments ()