NewsLocal News


Overdose deaths rise in Erie County during pandemic

Libraries leverage resources in opioid fight
Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 21:22:41-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Overdose deaths are on the rise in Erie County.

It's no secret that isolation, loss of jobs and the pandemic had an extreme impact on the opioid crisis in Western New York.

This interactive map puts into perspective the reality of the epidemic.

"We're using the data that we get to reach out to people," said Cheryl Moore, who is on the Opioid Task Force for Erie County.

Moore along with other members of the Erie County Opioid Task Force have worked for years to get resources out to people struggling with addiction.

"Some of the numbers went really high," she said.

The map shows specific overdose and fatal overdose numbers for 2020.

Some of the worst areas includ Buffalo's 14207 Riverside neighborhood, 14150 which includes parts of the Town of Tonawanda and areas in the suburbs like 14075, Hamburg.

A map from the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office shows in 2019, just when deaths had reached the lowest they'd been since 2015, they shot back up in 2020 with 209, with 38 cases pending.

A new trend in 2020 has experts looking on. The county saw a 50% increase in opioid deaths where the drug was associated with fentanyl and cocaine.

The county continues to make narcan readily available to those who need it most. This map shows where you can get free narcan.