ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — According to an analysis released by State Comptroller DiNapoli, drug overdose fatalities surged during the COVID-19 pandemic in NYS. The analysis explains opioid related deaths increased by 68% to nearly 5,000 individuals from 2019 to 2021.

DiNapoli comments, “Too many New Yorkers have died from the misuse of drugs, but the jump in these numbers is alarming. It is a tragedy that devastates families and impacts our communities in countless ways,” “The data shows our battle against drug overdose deaths is far from over. State leaders must ensure an ongoing commitment of public resources and strategies, including new funding from legal settlements, and innovative, evidence-based solutions for the fight against this deadly epidemic to be effective.”

According to DiNapoli’s report,

  • The share of drug overdose deaths in the state involving opioids increased to 85% in both 2020 and 2021 from 69% in 2010.
  • In 2021, 30 New Yorkers per 100,000 died from drug overdoses and 25 per 100,000 New Yorkers died from opioid overdoses, compared to five in 2010. New York’s opioid overdose death rates exceeded national rates in both 2020 and 2021.
  • Fatalities grew across all racial and ethnic groups. Death rates increased five-fold for Black New Yorkers, quadrupled for Hispanic or Latino New Yorkers, and nearly tripled for White New Yorkers. In 2020, death rates were highest for White New Yorkers at 28.7 per 100,000 people.
  • In 2020, drug overdose death rates were higher than the statewide average (25.4 per 100,000) in 10 of the 15 counties for which Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data is available. Due to low death counts in most counties resulting in privacy and statistical reliability concerns, CDC data is only available for certain counties. The highest rate was in Dutchess County, where over 43 per 100,000 people died of drug overdoses, followed by Niagara County, the Bronx, and Monroe County.

State Senator Pete Harckham, chair of the New York State Senate Committee on Alcoholism and Substance Abuse, State Senator Anna Kaplan, Assemblymember Charles Lavine, and Dr. Jeffrey Reynolds, Family and Children’s Association President/CEO recognize DiNapoli’s report and focus on this issue. They’re all working to aid in the crisis and better the lives of NYS.

DiNapoli explains drug overdose deaths were on the rise both in NY and across the country, growing 152% in the state between 2010-2017 compared to 83% nationally. Majority of the overdoses are from opioids, both in NY and across the nation.

According to a release by DiNapoli, NYS has invested millions into prevention, treatment, recovery harm reduction, and education programs in efforts to address the opioid epidemic. According to the Division of the Budget, opioid-related spending by the State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) grew from $187.2 million in SFY 2011-12 to $246.2 million in SFY 2020-21. DiNapoli encourages policymakers to continue to improve care systems, create more effective interventions, improve efforts to track funding, and establish clear performance targets.