Surge in heroin-related deaths in New York City

Uptick in overdoses observed in 2010

CBC News Last Updated: Feb. 5, 2014

The number of heroin-related deaths increased an astounding 71 per cent from 2010 to 2012, according to the New York City Department of Health. The growing drug problem in the city was highlighted by the recent death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who according to reports suffered an apparent heroin overdose.

Observers suggest the rise in heroin is tied to recent access restrictions to oxycodone and oxycontin. The price of the drug is also inexpensive, with Afghanistan supplying record levels of heroin in a flooded market. The map below shows the number of heroin-related deaths per 100,000 people in New York City.

Unintentional drug poisoning deaths involving heroin by borough of residence, New York City, 2012

Source: NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner & NYC DOHMH Bureau of Vital Statistics