Opioid Crisis Data for the NY23rd, by Counties


opioidsThe Finger Lakes Times (Monday, September 18) published an article on the Finger Lakes  Area Counceling & Recovering Agency (FLACRA) recent $1.4 million in federal funds to combat the Opioid crisis.  The article starts, “Sixteen counties in New York have been called the most severely affected in the state when it comes to the heroin and opioid crisis, Unfortunately, Yates and Ontario counties are on that list.”

The chart below is one set of data from the New York State  County Opioid Quarterly Report (July 2017).  The report has two pages of data for each county in NYS dealing with our heroin and opioid crisis, including hospitalizations and deaths. This chart shows the number of overdoses for the past two years, and what it would be if there were 100,000 people in each county.

The data raises many questions. Why would Yates County has a rating of 87.8 overdoses per 100,000 people when neighboring Schuyler County has less than half of that? Why would Cattaraugus and neigboring Chautauqua couinties have such  different 2016 ratings? Why did number of Cattaraugus overdose rating jump from 46/100,000 to 70/100,000 in one year? Notice that Tompkins County’s overdoses doubled i a year!

This data should be driving the direction that County Legislature (including the Sheriff Departments) steer their policies.

The grant came from the Opioid State Targeted Response-Centers of Treatment Innovation Initiative, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. My understanding is that funding for heroin and opioid was going to be cut in the first two TrumpCare proposals that failed to become law. I have to assume the newest proposal will not be friendly to this problem. If the newest last-ditch proposal passes in the Senate, it will need go to the House for approval. Now is the time to contact Rep. Tom Reed to let him know that our district needs more funding to “care” for our residents, not less.

Reed’s Office Phone Numbers

  • Washington (202) 225-3161
  • Corning (607) 654-7566
  • Geneva (315)-759-5229
  • Ithaca (607) 222-2027
  • Jamestown (716)-708-6369
  • Olean (716)-379-8434

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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11 Responses to Opioid Crisis Data for the NY23rd, by Counties

  1. Anne says:

    It might help to remind Reed that you can’t sue people for medical debt when they’re dead.


  2. cathkestler says:

    So true, Anne, sadly.


  3. whungerford says:

    I’d like to know more–were the drugs made legally or illegally? If they were legal, were they prescribed for the person who died? Were the overdoses accidental, deliberate, or taken out of ignorance? How many died from adulterated illegal substances? Also of interest: race, gender, age, and household income of those who died.


  4. Rynstone says:

    Can we have confidence that the data reporting is accurate ?

    The populations of several of these counties is so small is it really a good idea to extrapolate a number per 100,000 ?
    Some thoughts on Demographics and two-year total deaths per county;
    Chautauqua County (134 deaths) has the City of Jamestown, lots of Section 8 housing, several universities, is in very proximity to several casinos and also has had a declining population since 1980.
    Ontario County (98 deaths) has the Cities of Geneva and Canandaigua, quite a bit of Section 8 housing, several universities, not too far from several casinos, and an increasing population.

    Cattaraugus County (91 deaths) has the city of Olean, several Universities, some Section 8 housing, an Indian reservation (and casino) and a declining population since 1980.

    Tompkins County (85 deaths) has the city of Ithaca, a very expensive university (with many students coming from downstate and other wealthy metropolitan areas) and several other universities, some Section 8 housing and an increasing population.

    Chemung County (78 deaths) has the city of Elmira, two prisons with many inmates from downstate whose families relocate here, lots of Section 8 housing, a few colleges, and a declining population since 1980.

    Allegany County (57 deaths) has no cities and is made up of rural towns and villages, it has several universities, it has part of an Indian reservation, unknown if it has any Section 8 public housing, is also very close to a casino and has a declining population since 1990.

    Stuben County (39 deaths) has the cities of Corning and Hornell, a community college, some Section 8 public housing, again close to a casino, and also has had a declining population since 1980.
    Yates County (34 deaths) has no cities, a small private college and a very low population with a large number of lakeside 2nd homes, is very rural with a good number or Amish and Mennonite families and has had some population growth.

    Tioga County (34 deaths) is also a small rural county with no cities, some Section 8 housing, no colleges or universities, and has had a declining population since 2000. Many who live in Tioga County work in Tompkins, Broome, Chemung, Cortland or Stuben Counties.

    Schuyler County (13 Deaths) is also a very thinly populated county (probably the smallest population of all of the counties) with no cities, no colleges or universities that I am aware of, with less than 20,000 people, and many lakeside 2nd homes. It too has also had a declining population since 2010.

    There is obviously a problem with drug overdoses in NY State like most other states. What do we reasonably expect our federal government to do except seal the southern border and both east and west shorelines to stop teh flow of illegal drugs into the country.

    I believe that the past 20-30 years of high taxes, government growth spending and poor economic conditions has a larger part in this. A bad economy, low incomes and high living costs hurt many families forcing both parents to work outside the household. The state government (nor the federal) cannot and should not be taking teh place of parents and families.

    We are trying to solve this drug problem by throwing more money at it and creating more laws. We must identify teh root cause problems and address those.
    Government most likely played a big part in creating the drug overdose problem and now some expect them to solve it. This is insanity.
    And then there are those who think that the herd is being culled and that we should not be spending more tax money and creating more laws to deal with this problem.

    I guess all of the money spend on the DARE Program in NY State may have went to waste? The stats do not show it helping to solve the problem.

    Seal the southern border, make NY State a better economic opportunity by eliminating state income taxes, reducing corporate taxes, reduce the size and scope of the state government and their endless spending and borrowing cycles. This will help teh low to middle class families and may just reduce the drug problem.
    We know that what we have been doing for the last 40 – 45 years has not been working. Why do we keep going down that road?
    Job security for the DEA, all law enforcement and the entire state and federal judicial system including attorneys ???


  5. whungerford says:

    One could reasonably assume that the death rate per capita is nearly the same for all NY-23 counties; as Rynstone says, the data may not be reliable enough to attach significance to differences between counties or from year to year. Until we know which age groups are dying, which drugs were ingested, and why people overdosed, we have no basis for identifying a cause or a cure.


  6. pystew says:

    This many or may not be important to the discussion, but the data in the table does desctibe “deaths”, but opioid overdoses. The data about deaths is located in the Quarterly Report cited in the article. With that said the rate of overdoses is probably not 100% accurate, since probably not all over doses are reported.

    Please note: “The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) is providing opioid overdose information (deaths, emergency department (ED) visits, and hospitalizations) by county in this quarterly report. The reported cases are based on the county of residence.” I don’t know how that affects the student population, especially those studying in Ithaca.

    Rystone said: We are trying to solve this drug problem by throwing more money at it and creating more laws. We must identify teh root cause problems and address those.Government most likely played a big part in creating the drug overdose problem and now some expect them to solve it. This is insanity. And then there are those who think that the herd is being culled and that we should not be spending more tax money and creating more laws to deal with this problem.

    My limited experience with the Yates Substance Abuse Coalition and panel presentations showed me that they are not making laws, they are trying to decriminalize having an illness. The Village of Penn Yan Justice’s complains that he has to follow judicial guidelines that gets in the way of helping a drug user get healthy. Please note that the only drug recovery location in Yates County is the Yates County Jail. They money they need will create a location that will help the drug user with professional medical personnel, not the jail.

    Don’t get me started on the DARE program, which I had in my 6th grade classroom with 3 different police officers as presenters over probably 8 years. It was developed in urban schools in LA. What may work in LA does not necessarily work in rural upstate NY.


  7. whungerford says:

    If the problem of drug abuse were simple, it might have been solved long ago. The NYS data suggests that drugs other than heroin are more deadly, but heroin is responsible for more emergencies suggesting no one simple answer. Yates county is very Republican; do citizens there now see the problem as primarily of law enforcement or of health issue?


  8. pystew says:

    The YSAC leadership includes Drug Counselor, the District Attorney and a Representative from the Sheriff’s Office. They all agree that the local drug problems are health issues. The County Sheriff Department works very closely with the Village Police and the State Police in both revivaling an victim and stopping drugs from coming into the village.

    The average citizen’s attitude seems to be evolving to thinking it is a health problem. I have seen that change in family members. Many know someone who has been revived with Narcan, and Narcan training is offered often (One was held last night).

    I volunteer in the Yates Treatment Court (aka Drug Court) caring for your family’s health and safety crosses political party, and economic lines.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Arthur Ahrens says:

    An interesting piece about Trump’s pick:

    Sen. Manchin calls on Trump to withdraw Marino’s nomination as drug czar in wake of Post/‘60 Minutes’ probe

    It seems Marino was cozy with the drug lobby and orchestrated passage of a law that hobbled law enforcement


    What’s Tom going to say about this?


  10. Rynstone says:

    Arthur, Why is anybody acting like this is a surprise?!?!
    This is the swamp of DC operates. Ask previous administrations. This is why we are always looking for a Presidential candidate and Congressional candidates who will drain the swamp.
    As you well know, Congressman Tom Reed has nothing to say in this matter, he is in the Legislative Branch, not the Judicial branch. The US Senate confirms nominations, not the House.

    Speaking of CBS News & 60 Minutes; remember their coverage of the 1st Gulf War and their prediction of how badly the US military would be defeated by the Iraqi Military? Or how about the bum lying Dan rather and his bogus document of G W Bush’s Air Force medical exam using a Word document as evidence when all they had back then were type writers?!/!/


    Or the controversy over CBS Reporter Sheryl Attkisson

    CBS News and Big Government both suck


  11. Arthur Ahrens says:

    Rynstone says:
    August 17, 2017 at 1:39 pm
    Arthur, unfortunately you are so closed minded it is impossible to have an open and honest discuss or debate with you. However, I will always defend your Right to spew forth you closed minded nonsense. Good day sir.


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