The drug overdose rate in Syracuse, New York is higher than the state and national average. Drug-induced deaths have been on the rise in this city for the better part of a decade to the point where it has become a full-blown epidemic. Out of every 100,000 people, 15 die of an overdose related to drugs each year.
The majority of the overdose deaths that occur in the city of Syracuse are directly related to opiates such as heroin and fentanyl. In just this past year 34 people died as a direct result of a heroin overdose within the city limits. However, this is not the only type of substance abuse that leads to death in the city. The city of Syracuse has also seen a dramatic spike in cocaine use. Cocaine use has not lead to as many deaths as opiates within the city limits but has caused a rise in property crime and gang-related activity.
Doctors and other health professionals in the city of Syracuse found that more overdoses from opiates started to occur when laws passed restricting the availability of prescription painkillers. When these laws passed people that were dependent on painkiller medications began to turn to illicit street drugs such as heroin. This has proven to be incredibly dangerous for many of the individuals who have gone this route. People that were formerly addicted to prescription painkillers have no real way to gauge their tolerance to more potent street substances like heroin which leads to accidental overdose. In Onondaga country, where the city of Syracuse resides, there were 205 drug overdose deaths last year. Like in many other cities, studies have found that the more rural areas of Onondaga county experience the most issues with substance abuse and overdoses. This has been found to be directly correlated with the higher poverty rate in these rural areas.