Drug Overdoses Increase 50 Percent, Pandemic Blamed As Contributing Factor

Photo: nchrc.org

MAYVILLE – The number of drug overdoses in Chautauqua County increased over 50 percent in the last year.

That’s according to the Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene who released updated statistics on Friday.

The data shows that overdoses rose dramatically during the COVID-19 pandemic, with 338 people getting medical attention up from 219 the year before.

Fatal overdoses also increased, but at a much lower rate.

“Reports from our region and the nation are revealing the toll the pandemic has had – on physical health, certainly, but also on emotional health and on substance use,” said Pat Brinkman, Chautauqua County Director of Community Mental Hygiene Services in a statement. “While Chautauqua County has not been immune to these trends, we are extremely grateful for the life-saving efforts of individuals and agencies in our county who have helped address addiction throughout this difficult time.”

Data from the Overdose Detection and Mapping Application Program system, a public health monitoring tool used to alert communities to changing overdose patterns, indicates that Chautauqua County experienced a 54 percent increase in non-fatal overdoses from 2019 to 2020.

Over the same time frame, overdose fatalities rose 18 percent, from 33 in 2019 to 39 in 2020.

The Department of Mental Hygiene says there is help for those struggling with addiction at CombatAddictionCHQ.com/find-help.


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