The Office of the Medical Examiner released numbers Tuesday that paint a dire image of opioid use in Monroe County. There were 169 overdoses on opioids last year in the county, putting it far and above nearby counties, Livingston and Ontario. The report examined the number of overdoses, which totaled 206 and compared it by county. It also explored the drug class or compound, finding that fentanyl accounted for 80 percent of the overdoses.
“As Medical Examiner, I am releasing these data in the full interest of public transparency and accountability,” said Dr. Nadia Granger, Monroe County Medical Examiner in a statement that accompanied the report. “A comprehensive review of heroin and opioid related deaths in our region was completed by our Office… Moving forward, we will review the viability of releasing more periodic reports on a recurring basis.”
Monroe County has consistently had the highest number of overdoses since 2011, the data shows and many Rochester residents probably aren’t surprised, considering North Clinton Avenue in the city of Rochester and surrounding side streets are essentially the home of heroin. With 2017 being an election year, heroin has been a major key point of discussion.
“It is unfortunate that some have chosen to play politics with statistics related to overdose deaths,” said Jesse Sleezer, Director of Communications for Monroe County in the same report. “The data is being released now to prevent it from being used as a political football by those who would seek to abuse it for partisan gain. Out of respect for the sensitivity of the opioid crisis and in light of the politics at play, Monroe County will withhold further comment on the data at this time.”