Broome County District Attorney Michael Korchak says, in spite of anxiety from the COVID-19 cancellations and shutdowns, there has not been a spike in overdose deaths in the county over the past several months.

Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News

Korchak has released the drug overdose data for January 1 through June 30.

Officials say there were 10 deaths in the first quarter of 2020, before the pandemic hit in New York in early March, and another 10 deaths in the second quarter, bringing the yearly total to 20.

Last year, there were 26 deaths in the first six months, 15 in 2018, 44 in 2017 and 36 in the first six months of 2016.

The breakdown of the overdose deaths for the first half of this year:

The average age was 39 

the majority of those dying were males, at 14 and 6 females.

The majority of the deaths again were in the urban center of the county with Binghamton recording 11 deaths, Vestal 4, Johnson City 2 and one death each in the Town of Dickinson, Endwell and Windsor.

Robert Cianflone

The District Attorney’s office reminds families affected by substance abuse that a listing of treatment services can be found at www.gobroomecounty.com/boac/help-is-available

Officials expressed concern this spring about a possible increase in overdoses as anxiety built over the uncertainty of the coronavirus spread and the shutdown of almost everything, including face-to-face counseling and other support services for those dealing with substance abuse issues.  Even though services have been able to go on virtually, officials feared people may not take advantage of that option.

Korchak tells WNBF News his big concerns now are with New York State bail reform and the changes in the discovery laws that have released drug dealers back on the street after arrest and with addicts turning to crime to fuel their habit as people were furloughed during the pandemic response emergency shut-downs.