Report: Fatal opioid overdoses declining on Long Island

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

Fatal overdoses are dropping on Long Island, according to officials.

With recent statistics, both Nassau and Suffolk counties have seen drastic drops in the number of opioid-related deaths.

The two counties each had a decrease of nearly 25% in deadly opioid overdoses in 2018 compared to years before. In Nassau, 147 people were killed last year and in Suffolk, there were 308 deadly overdose victims.

Nassau County had an all-time high death count of 195 two years prior. In Suffolk County, 410 people died from overdoses in 2017.

Experts say that's due to a wide range of factors - including better law enforcement, treatment for addicts, and the widespread availability of the overdose antidote Narcan.

Addiction specialist Steven Chassman says his organization hands out thousands of free Narcan kits every year, and that the decrease in deaths doesn't necessarily mean that fewer people are getting high.

Experts say some Long Islanders are now switching to other deadly drugs, like cocaine and crystal meth.

News 12 is reaching out to both counties today, trying to get more information – including the number of non-fatal overdoses that have happened in recent years.

 

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