The number of drug overdose fatalities in New York City reportedly reached an all-time high last year, setting a grim record.
A total of 3,026 people died of a drug overdose in 2022, the highest number since the city started tracking deaths in 2000, according to official figures released on Monday.
Last year’s overdose deaths are up 12% from the 2,696 deaths the city had in 2021. The rate soared to more than 43 overdose deaths per 100,000 city people.
Black New Yorkers had the greatest overdose mortality rate at 62 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants and the biggest rate increase from 2021 to 2022.
Out of the five boroughs, the Bronx had the highest overdose fatality rate last year, with around 74 deaths per 100,000 residents, a rise over the previous year.
Staten Island has the second-highest rate.
Middle-aged adults from 55 to 64 had the greatest overdose rate of any age group.
Fentanyl is one of the key culprits.
The synthetic opioid has been streaming into the U.S. illegal drug market in recent years, mostly from Mexico and China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).
Fentanyl is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine and is fatal in dosages as tiny as 10 grains of salt.
Fentanyl was detected in 81% of overdose deaths in New York City last year. More than half of the deaths also involved cocaine.