Prosecutor: Bronx has most opioid overdose deaths in NYC

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THE BRONX -

The Bronx has more opioid overdose deaths than any of the five boroughs, according to numbers from Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan.

The Bronx also lands on top in terms of risk of dying from deadly drugs, according to a Columbia University report.

The drugs that are affecting so many are only getting stronger and deadlier.

"This is not your mother or father’s heroin. We've had long-term users and they've been living all these years...but with the intro of fentanyl and the analogs. That's made the difference," says Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark.

Prosecutors say the rise in deadlier drugs started around 2016 with fentanyl being mixed into drugs and funneled into and around the Bronx by drug cartels and local criminal organizations.

Officials say 50 percent of large fentanyl seizures are new coming through the Bronx, with 80 percent of stronger but similar fentanyl analogs also coming from within the borough.

"We need to educate them on how to get treatment and we need to get resources in the community so we can meet the people where they are," says Clark.

Clark backs the Overdose Avoidance Recovery Program, which trades time behind bars for drug possession for treatment.

A $900,000 grant will allow the Overdose Avoidance Recovery Program to expand to more Bronx courtrooms.

City officials say they plan to continue combating the opioid epidemic through law enforcement, education and special programs.

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