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Overdose Deaths: Broome County District Attorney Releases Third Quarter Numbers

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Broome County District Attorney Steve Cornwell  released drug overdose death data Tuesday morning for the third quarter of 2019.

Nine deaths have been confirmed.

Third quarter overdose deaths by year:

• 2019: 9

• 2018: 9

• 2017: 13

• 2016: 24

Historically the summer months see the highest number of overdose deaths.


Prior to the third quarter, Broome County reported a spike of 12 deaths in March, including six in a 10-day period, prompting officials to declare the State of Emergency. District Attorney Steve Cornwell, County Executive Jason Garnar, Office of Emergency Services Director Michael Ponticiello, and Public Health Director Rebecca Kaufman created a Drug Overdose Response Team to monitor and respond to the spike in overdoses (fatal and non-fatal).

As part of this effort, specific scenarios and criteria have been developed to identify an irregular spike in drug overdoses including historical data, trends, frequency, potency, etc. In the event of a spike in overdoses, the team will convene an emergency meeting to evaluate the situation and implement a plan to reduce the harm to the public.

Despite an overall decrease in deaths, following the March spike, District Attorney Steve Cornwell urges, this does not mean it is safe to use drugs. “Fewer deaths doesn’t mean it’s safe to go out and use drugs," said Cornwell.