September 25th, 2020
Fatal overdoses decreased from 2018, but the proportion of African Americans who died increased nearly 8 percentage points
Fatal overdoses in Monroe County involving heroin, fentanyl and related substances were down in 2019 compared to the previous two years.
In its annual report on deaths attributed to overdose, the Monroe County Office of the Medical Examiner indicates 181 people died in 2019 because of overdosing on these substances. That compares to 195 deaths from overdose in 2018, and 220 deaths in 2017. Overdoses accounted for 20% of all deaths investigated in Monroe County in 2019, which was comparable to the previous years.
The proportion of African American individuals affected increased from 13.3% of overall overdose fatalities in 2018 to 21% in 2019.
“I am pleased to see the overall numbers decline, but 181 deaths are still too many. Opioid overdoses are far too common, and I am particularly concerned about the impact the opioid crisis is having on African American residents,” said Dr. Michael Mendoza, Commissioner of Public Health for Monroe County. “I am committed to working with Monroe County Executive Adam Bello and my partners across the community to address public health disparities like this and to expand mental health and addiction services to help those who are suffering before it is too late.”
The Monroe County Department of Public Health also conducts regular online trainings to teach community members how to administer Narcan, a drug that reverses the symptoms of an opioid overdose. To register, go to: www.MonroeCounty.gov/opioids.
The Medical Examiner’s full report is attached. It is also available online at: www.MonroeCounty.gov/opioids.