Officials: overdose deaths in Erie County down from 2016, 2015

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz announced the number of Erie County opioid fatalities in 2017 (251) was lower than 2016 (301) and 2015 (256).

“We’ve tried different programs, and the fruits of our labors are showing now.” Poloncarz said. 

A series of methods to combat the opioid epidemic has begun to show progress in the county, which is marked by the first decrease in deaths since 2013.

43% of opioid related deaths in the county last year were in the suburbs; two new suburban methadone clinics will open this year as the county aims to increase access to Medication Assisted Treatment.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, in 2014, 93.5% of opioids on the street were heroin. In 2017, that number dropped to 18%.

43% of overdoses occurred with people who lived in the suburbs. 43% lived in the City of Buffalo and 10% lived in rural areas. 78% of the overdoses involved fentanyl; 28% involved heroin.

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