Broome County DA brings heroin overdose plight to forefront; reignites debate

BROOME – Broome County District Attorney Stephen Cornwell Jr. sparked controversy Thursday, Sept. 1, issuing a public health warning after five more heroin overdose deaths were reported in Broome County during the last week of August.

The five latest deaths bring the total number of overdose deaths to 14 for the month of August – making it the deadliest month on record for overdose deaths in Broome County. The total of overdose deaths in the county has now risen to 58. Cornwell said that 53 deaths were attributed to opioid overdoses in the County in 2015.

Heroin overdoses have been plaguing the entire United States over the last number of years, and in particular, New York State. In March of this year, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that independent pharmacies could provide Naloxone to their customers without a prescription. Naloxone – also known as Narcan – is a medication that reverses opioid overdose. In a statement prepared by the Governor’s Office, it was said, 'Improved accessibility to the medication is one of the priorities at the center of the Governor’s fight to end opioid abuse in New York State.'

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