The number of opioid deaths significantly increased in the Hudson Valley and across the state in the most up to date report.

In May 2016, in response to the growing number of opioid deaths and overdoses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo assembled a Heroin and Opioid Task Force.

The task force realized the need to improve the reporting regarding heroin and opioid-related overdoses and deaths to help spot trends and respond to local needs.

“The information is a valuable tool for planning and can help identify where communities are struggling, help tailor interventions, and show improvements,” the task force wrote in a press release.

In the task force’s most recent quarterly report, reported opioid overdose deaths were included for 2016.

While it's already 2018, the number of opioid overdose deaths may still increase because reporting the causes of death and patient information to the New York State Department of Health impacts that data.

For example, overdose deaths take time to be confirmed because of toxicology reports.

While the task force didn’t release the number of opioid overdose deaths in 2015, there is a “substantial increase in the number of opioid deaths,” from 2015 to 2016.

According to the New York State Heroin and Opioid Task Force, 1,990 people died from an opioid overdose in New York State in 2016. Of that number, 380 are from the Hudson Valley.

Opioid Overdose Death in Hudson Valley by County*:

  • Columbia County: 13
  • Dutchess County: 49
  • Orange County: 68
  • Putnam County: 21
  • Rockland County: 37
  • Sullivan County: 16
  • Ulster County: 52
  • Westchester County: 124

*All poisoning deaths involving opioids, all manners, using all causes of death.

The number of opioid-related overdose deaths is likely underreported for the following reasons:

  • Death investigations take a long time to complete
  • The percentage of death certificates with information about which drug caused a death varies across the state.
  • The substances tested for and how information is reported on death certificates also varies across the state.
  • Even after a death is ruled a drug overdose, information on the specific drug might not be added to the death certificate.

The task force also released the number of times Naloxone, a drug proven to reverse the effects of an opioid overdose, was used.

Naloxone Administered by EMS, Law Enforcement or Community Opioid Overdose Prevention by County*: 

  • Columbia County: 75
  • Dutchess County: 405
  • Orange County: 551
  • Putnam County: 36
  • Rockland County: 79
  • Sullivan County: 43
  • Ulster County: 189
  • Westchester County: 519
  • New York State (Minus NYC): 9,475

*County numbers represent only naloxone administration reported electronically, therefore, actual numbers of events may be higher.

All of the data is considered preliminary, as of November 2017, and is subject to change.

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