Broome County Reports 432 Total Overdoses Since January 1stPosted: Updated:
According to Broome County Executive Jason Garnar, there have been 432 total overdoses reported to Broome County Emergency Services between January 1, 2017, and August 31, 2017.
"This number signifies that we have a major problem on our hands," said Garnar. "If you don't think we have a major problem now after seeing a number like that, you've got your head way, way, way deep in the sand."
This number includes all calls to Broome County 9-1-1 and substances including non-opioid drugs, opioids, and alcohol.
"These are not numbers that I'm proud of reporting, I don't think anyone is proud to report a number like this, no one wants to see numbers this high in a population of just under 200,000 people," said Garnar.
Overdoses in Broome County Reported by Month
- January: 20
- February: 35
- March: 85
- May: 62
- June: 57
- July: 61
- August: 57
The County Executive's Office didn't have 2016's mid-year total overdose numbers available for comparison.
In August of 2016, former County Executive Debbie Preston and then County Executive Candidate Jason Garnar disagreed on how overdose numbers should be reported. At that time, Preston said there were 11 confirmed overdose deaths between January 2016, and August 2016, but Garnar argued that suspected overdose deaths should be counted as well, which increased the total.
Later that same month, District Attorney Steve Cornwell agreed with Garnar and said there were 53 overdose deaths in that time frame, 48 due to opioids.
According to Cornwell, there have been 39 overdose deaths so far in 2017, which is three more than the mid-year total for 2016.
Broome County is now tracking fatal and non-fatal overdoses in real-time with a secured application by the High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program. The Overdose Detection Mapping Application (ODMA) provides real-time overdose surveillance data.