Officials: Heroin deaths down across Long Island

Heroin and painkiller-related deaths are down on Long Island, according to new numbers released by medical examiners of Nassau and Suffolk counties. Data shows that

Data shows that fatal heroin overdoses fell from 145 in 2013 to 137 in 2014.

Data shows that fatal heroin overdoses fell from 145 in 2013 to 137 in 2014. (3/16/15)

WOODBURY - Heroin and painkiller-related deaths are down on Long Island, according to new numbers released by medical examiners of Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Data shows that fatal heroin overdoses fell from 145 in 2013 to 137 in 2014.

Steven Chassman, of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, says the numbers are good news, but greater access to long term treatment is critical. He says Narcan – which reverses the effects of an opiate overdose – only offers a temporary reprieve from addiction.

“This is a physical intervention by keeping people alive and bringing them out of overdose, but without treatment for the psychological and social obsession and compulsion that makes for addiction, unfortunately there's a lot of repetition with overdose,” said Chassman.

Acting Nassau Police Commissioner Thomas Krumpter says Narcan is an important tool, but it's only one weapon in the county's war against the heroin epidemic. He says the department funds an awareness campaign and has an extensive enforcement initiative.

Krumpter is also calling for a law to require those rescued by Narcan to stay in the hospital for 72 hours. He says patients are currently released in a few hours and some end up overdosing again within days. He says a 72-hour hold would give the hospital more time to refer patients to treatment programs to help them overcome their addiction.

advertisement | advertise on News 12

Top 5 Must See

Nassau Police say a Hempstead man has been 1 Police: Man arrested for sex assault of child, stabbing 2 women
Police officers stand guard on a road leading 2 UK Parliament resumes, holds minute's silence after attack
The arena in Uniondale opens April 5 with 3 Rebuilt Nassau Coliseum to feature express parking lanes
During World War II, Sophie Sarro, from Huntington 4 Long Island's 'Rosie the Riveter' turns 103
A growing number of Long Islanders are jumping 5 Goin' Vegan: National trend growing on LI

advertisement | advertise on News 12

More News

Heroin: Addicted on Long Island

as the three-part series Heroin: Addicted on Long Island, chronicles the lives of addicts, current

The stories of heroin addiction on Long Island. The Heroin Diaries

Recovering heroin addicts and family members affected by the drug shared their gripping stories with

The Midwest passed both the Northeast and the CDC: Heroin deaths in US tripled since 2010

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heroin-related deaths have

Sorry to interrupt...

Your first 5 are free

Access to News12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service Electric℠ video customers.

Please enjoy 5 complimentary views to articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.

LOGIN SUBSCRIBE