Health Department: opioid-related overdoses are down from last year
The opioid epidemic has plagued Central New York for years, but now fewer people are dying from the drug in Onondaga County.
Health officials say 53 people died from opioid overdose in the first 6 months of this year, which is down from last year's 74 deaths in the same period.
The number of opioid deaths in the county more than tripled between 2012 and 2016.
The Onondaga County Health Department says it's early, but they're hopeful we could see fewer opioid related deaths for the rest of the year.
Beacuse opioid related deaths have skyrocketed in recent years, the Health Department says this has become one of their larger concerns.
They're not exactly sure what is causing the drop, but they say more awareness and prevention efforts could be playing a role.
"As the Health Department we are always focused primarily on prevention so that is our message is to just increase community awareness and to hopefully prevent people from becoming addicted to opioids in the first place," Rebecca Shultz, Director of the Bureau of Surveillance and Statistics said.
The Health Department says having the resources to treat overdose situations is key, which is why they have focused on working with various agencies to ensure it.