WOODBURY - Suffolk County has more heroin- and opioid-related overdose deaths than any other county in New York, according to a new state report.
The report, issued by state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, also found that heroin and opioid deaths rates rose faster in New York than in most other states.
According to the report, the number of overdose deaths in New York hit a record high of 825 in 2014, compared to 666 in 2013. Suffolk had 111 overdose deaths in 2014.
Substance abuse treatment expert Jeffrey Reynolds says the report's findings are not surprising.
"This is a natural disaster when we're losing at least one person, if not two young people, per day here on Long Island," says Reynolds. "This crisis has been brewing since 2000. It's now 2016. Some good things have happened but a lot more has to be done if we're going to turn the corner on this problem."
The report says the state budget has set aside $25 million to help counties combat the heroin epidemic. Also, new state-funded treatment facilities are set to open next year in several counties around the state.