More than 3,000 New Yorkers died of drug overdoses in 2022, the highest number since the city began keeping records more than two decades ago, as the synthetic opioid fentanyl takes an increasing toll.
(Bloomberg) — More than 3,000 New Yorkers died of drug overdoses in 2022, the highest number since the city began keeping records more than two decades ago, as the synthetic opioid fentanyl takes an increasing toll.
The total was 12% higher than the 2,696 overdose deaths recorded in 2021, the city Health Department announced this week. New York began keeping records in 2000.
The issue came into sharp focus this month when a 1-year-old boy boy died after possible exposure to fentanyl at a Bronx day care center that had allegedly been used by drug dealers. Two people were charged with murder, and a third person was arrested on conspiracy to distribute narcotics.
The number of accidental deaths from drug overdoses has more than doubled since 2019, when the city recorded 1,497 such deaths, and has more than quadrupled since 2000, when 638 overdose deaths were recorded.
Health department officials said 85% of the drug overdose deaths in 2022 involved opioids and that 81% included fentanyl, a powerful painkiller. Cocaine was involved in 53% of the deaths, the city found.
Black New Yorkers had the highest overdose death rate of any ethnic group citywide, followed by Latinos, the health department said. New Yorkers living in high-poverty neighborhoods had much greater rates of overdose deaths than in those in wealthier neighborhoods.
Among the city’s five boroughs, the Bronx had the highest rate of overdose deaths, followed by Staten Island. The city also found that overdose death rates were four times higher among males than females, and that people ages 55-64 had the highest overdose death rates of any age group in the city.
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