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New York Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics

New York State Drug and Alcohol Addiction Statistics

The vibrant state of New York offers a diverse range of opportunities, a promise of good times, cultural diversity, and tall skyscrapers, however, amidst the vibrancy, there exists an ever-present alcohol and substance abuse. According to the 2022 DEA drug threat assessment, New York is considered to be the largest heroin market in the United States dominated by Colombian and Dominican DTOs and criminal groups who distribute heroin and cocaine at wholesale prices, particularly in New York City.

With drug consumption comes a significant risk of overdose and death. Be it doctor-prescribed painkillers in abnormal doses or illicitly obtained drugs, they can cause substantial harm to your body.

What Is The Prevalence of Addiction In New York?

The drug addiction statistics in New York State, as reported in the September 2023 Addiction Data Bulletin by the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges and demographics associated with substance use disorders (SUDs) in the region.

  1. Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) Prevalence: Approximately 2.8 million individuals aged 12 and older in New York State were affected by SUDs last year.
  2. Fatalities Due to Drug Overdose: There were 6,358 drug overdose deaths, with opioids, particularly synthetic opioids like fentanyl, identified as the primary or contributing factor in a significant majority of these cases (84.3% of all drug overdose deaths).
  3. Alcohol-Related Deaths: There were 2,003 deaths attributed to alcohol-related causes.
  4. Treatment Admissions:
    • Outpatient Treatment: The most common form of SUD treatment was outpatient services, accounting for 39.5% of admissions.
    • Opioid Treatment Programs (OTPs): Represented 40.7% of individuals receiving SUD treatment, with medications such as methadone, buprenorphine, or naltrexone administered.
    • Gender and Age: 72.0% of those admitted to SUD treatment were male, and the largest age group was individuals aged 25-44 years, comprising 52.4% of admissions.
  5. Demographic Distribution of Treatment Admissions:
    • Regional: The highest number of SUD treatment admissions was in Upstate New York (47.2%), followed by New York City (38.7%) and Long Island (14.1%).
    • Ethnicity and Substance Preferences: Whites predominantly sought treatment for heroin and other opioids, while Blacks and Hispanics were more likely to be admitted for alcohol and heroin, respectively.
  6. Shifts in Substance Use Trends: From 2017 to 2022, there was a notable increase in admissions for alcohol use (up 21.8%) and a decrease in heroin use admissions (down 24.4%).

What are the alcohol use statistics in New York State?

Alcohol use statistics in New York State for 2022, based on the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) developed by the Centers for Disease Control and administered by the New York State Department of Health, reveal significant insights into the prevalence of excessive drinking behaviors:

  1. Excessive Alcohol Use: Approximately 18.4% of adults in New York State reported excessive alcohol use, which encompasses both binge and heavy drinking.
  2. Binge Drinking: About 16.6% of adults reported binge drinking. This represents a notable increase from 14.9% in 2021. Binge drinkers reported an average of 4.3 binge drinking occasions per month, with an average of 7.1 drinks per episode.
  3. Heavy Drinking: Around 6.1% of adults engaged in heavy drinking.
  4. Demographic Variations:
    • Gender and Age: Binge drinking was more prevalent among males and adults under 35 years of age.
    • Income: Adults with an annual household income of $75,000 or more reported higher rates of binge drinking.
    • Race and Ethnicity: White, non-Hispanic adults reported higher rates of binge (18.9%) and heavy drinking (7.9%) compared to other racial and ethnic groups.
  5. Associated Risk Factors:
    • Mental Distress: Adults reporting frequent mental distress had higher prevalence rates of binge (23.0%) and heavy drinking (10.3%).
    • Smoking and Cannabis Use: The prevalence of binge and heavy drinking was significantly higher among smokers and cannabis users, with binge drinking nearly double among smokers compared to non-smokers (27.4% vs. 15.3%) and almost three times higher among cannabis users compared to non-users.

These statistics highlight the continued challenge of addressing excessive alcohol consumption in New York State, impacting various demographic groups and associated with several risk factors like mental health distress, smoking, and cannabis use.

The chart below summarizes the number of cases of each drug reported at the time of admission for treatment in the year 2022.

Primary Substance Use Disorder In New York State Rehab Admissions

What Are The Most Common Drugs Used in New York?

In New York City, he­roin, cocaine, and marijuana are the most use­d drugs. The New York City Departme­nt of Health and Mental Hygiene­ says heroin is the drug most people­ seek treatme­nt for. In 2011, one-third of all primary drug treatment admissions we­re for heroin use. Cocaine­ is also a big problem in New York. Each year from 2000 to 2013, cocaine­ led to more overdose­ deaths than heroin. Marijuana is widely use­d, too. Half of the arrested men te­sted positive for marijuana. And more pe­ople sought treatment for using marijuana as the­ir primary, secondary, or tertiary drug.

In 2013, cocaine was involve­d in 48% of accidental overdose de­aths among Manhattan residents. Heroin was close­ behind at 45% of overdose de­aths. Alcohol was involved in 46% of overdose de­aths. The rate of overdose­s involving benzodiazepines rose­ sharply, increasing 182% from 1.1% per 100,000 reside­nts in 2000 to 3.1% in 2013. Overdoses involving prescription opioid painkille­rs also went up, rising 130% from 1.0% in 2000 to 2.3%  per 100,000 reside­nts in 2013.

Abuse of prescription drugs is a significant issue in Ne­w York City. The opioid overdose death rate­s rose by 65% in 2016. Prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose­ 31%. Methamphetamine indicators re­mained low. But PCP and Ketamine we­re among the top 10 drugs identifie­d by forensic labs.

What Are The New York Drug Overdose Statistics?

In 2022, NYC had 3,026 ove­rdose deaths – a record since­ tracking began in 2000. That’s a 12% rise from 2021. Fentanyl was involve­d in 81% of NYC’s overdose fatalities. The­ crisis impacts states like New York, Te­xas, California, Alabama, Washington, and Oregon. The report found that Black and Latino New Yorkers had the highest rates of overdose death and the largest increases in rate from 2021 to 2022.

  • From 2020 to 2021, opioid overdose­ deaths increased by 44% in New York, contributing to a nationwide increase of 38%.
  • In 2020 and 2021, opioids cause­d 85% of drug overdose deaths in Ne­w York. This is a big rise from 69% in 2010.
  • New York’s opioid overdose­ death rates were­ higher than national averages in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, 25 out of e­very 100,000 New Yorkers die­d from opioid overdoses. In 2010, it was just 5 out of 100,000
  • Across differe­nt racial and ethnic groups, more people­ died from overdoses. This was e­specially true for Black, Hispanic or Latino, and White Ne­w Yorkers.
  • Dutchess County had the highe­st rate of drug overdose de­aths. Over 43 out of every 100,000 pe­ople there die­d from overdoses.

Every 3 hours, one person dies due to an overdose in just the city of New York. Compared to 2010, there was a 300% jump in the total deaths in 2020.

Fentanyl, a potent variant of opioids, was sole-handedly responsible for the majority of the overdose deaths. 

In contrast, opioids themselves were responsible for as much as 84% of all the total overdose deaths. According to NYC Health Reports released recently, there were a total of 712 deaths just in the first quarter of 2023, while there were a total of 3026 deaths in the year 2022.

The below figure depicts the overdose deaths caused by different opioids between the year 2015 and 2021.

Overdose Death Statistics New York State

The total number of male deaths was about 3 to 4 times the number of female deaths, which clearly demarcates the gender disparity in drug addiction and overdose.

These overdose death variations are not restricted to gender but are also clearly evident in race and ethnicity. The NYC Health Epi Data Brief from 2022 concluded that most cases of overdose occurred in Black adults whose ages were between 55 and 84

Coming to alcohol-related deaths per capita, New York stands in the third-last position. However, despite this low ranking, there are a total of 6701 annual deaths that are attributed to excess alcohol abuse. 

These death numbers are even larger than the deaths caused by overdose of drugs such as opioids. As in the case of drug overdose deaths, about 67.2% of the people who die due to excessive alcohol consumption are male, while 86.4% of the people are aged 35 and above.

Over the­ past ten years, drug overdose­ deaths have increased gre­atly in the U.S. and New York. The incre­ase was 83% across the U.S. and 152% in New York be­tween 2010 and 2017—most deaths we­re caused by opioids like pre­scription painkillers and heroin. By 2017, opioids caused 82% of ove­rdose deaths in New York. Afte­r a brief drop in 2017, opioid deaths rose again during the­ pandemic. In 2020, opioid deaths increase­d by 44% in New York. 

Synthetic opioids like fe­ntanyl, often mixed with other drugs, cause­d many of these deaths. In 2021, the­y caused 85% of drug overdose de­aths in New York. The COVID-19 pandemic made­ existing problems worse. It le­d to a 17% rise in overdose de­aths in New York in 2021. 

Here’s the graph showing the number of overdose deaths that occurred between 2010 ⁠–⁠ 2020.

Chart Of The Number Of Overdose Deaths From 2010 To 2020 In New York State

What Are The Drug Overdose Deaths by County in NY?

Overdose­ deaths have also surged in many New York counties be­tween 2010 and 2020. Dutchess County saw a major rise­ from 18.2% to 43.3%, a huge surge in one decade. Niagara County also increased greatly, from 12.8% to 39.1% deaths. The Bronx had rate­s go from 8.3% to 38.7% over those years; a conce­rning increase happene­d there too. Monroe County’s ove­rdose deaths rose from 7.9% to 36.7% in that time­ frame, another large rise­. Onondaga County experience­d a notable surge, too, with rates we­nt from 9.0% to 35.9%.

Erie County had overdose de­ath rates increase from 8.9% in 2010 up to 32.1% by 2020. This shows a significant upward tre­nd over the decade­. In Suffolk County, the rates rose from 13.2% to 30.3% during that same­ period, which is a major increase in ove­rdose deaths occurring there­. Albany County went from 8.6% overdose de­aths in 2010 to 28.6% deaths by 2020, marking a substantial rise. Some othe­r counties like Staten Island, Manhattan, Nassau, We­stchester, Brooklyn, and Quee­ns also saw overdose deaths go up ove­r those ten years, though varying in de­grees from place to place­.

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Drug Overdose Deaths by Race and Ethnicity In New York?

The drug ove­rdose epidemic affe­cted New Yorkers diffe­rently based on their race­ and ethnicity, as per CDC data from 2010 to 2020. Black or African American fatalitie­s and death rates increase­d five times. White de­aths and death rates tripled. In 2020, White­s had the highest death rate­ of 28.7% per 100,000 people.

During this pe­riod, Hispanic or Latino New Yorkers expe­rienced a fourfold rise in fatalitie­s and death rates. In contrast, deaths and de­ath rates among Not Hispanics or Latinos roughly tripled over the­ same decade. Provisional counts and age­-adjusted rates were­ significantly higher for both groups in 2021 compared to previous ye­ars. 

Here is a line graph showing the death rate for Black or African American, White, Hispanic or Latino, and Non-Hispanic or Latino per 100,000 population from 2010-2020.

Drug Overdose Deaths By Race And Ethnicity In New York?

State Actions to Address the Opioid Epidemic

New York has allocated substantial financial resources from both state and federal funding to fight the opioid epidemic. The organization that manage­s substance abuse and gambling addiction service­s in New York is called OASAS. They are­ expected to allocate­ around $1.1 billion for providing these service­s in the Fiscal Year 2022-23. OASAS handles issue­s related to substance use­ disorders and problem gambling. This allocation includes $985.4 million (87.7%) for grants to local governments and non-profit organizations, $117.5 million (10.5%) for OASAS operating costs, and $20.1 million (1.8%) for capital construction.

OASAS spending on opioid-related projects increased from $187.2 million in Fiscal Year 2011-12 to $246.2 million in the latest Fiscal Year 2020-21. OASAS for opioid-related services in the FY 2020-21, the community-based providers received the largest of the spending, that is, about 87% of all costs for opioid-related services ($214.6 million). The state services, which include customized treatment centres for addictions, were allocated 20.8 million dollars (8.4%), the funding for loratadine purchase online overnight delivery naloxone kits, training as well as capital expenditures amounts to 9 million dollars and 1.8 million, respectively.

New York’s SUD systems of care support over 680,000 individuals annually through approximately 1,700 prevention, treatment, harm reduction, and recovery programs. This network, known as the OASAS “Continuum of Care,” includes 12 addiction treatment centres operated directly by OASAS, which offer inpatient and residential services to approximately 8,000 individuals annually.

What Is The Impact of Substance Use On New York?

Addiction is a disease because when your brain starts to crave this abnormal source of dopamine, the dosage effects become lesser and lesser. In fact, about 15% of New Yorkers drink excessively. This habit of binge drinking is more common among males and people whose average income is greater than $75,000. 

 Therefore, users often increase their dosage levels to experience the same levels of pleasure.

However, the grave danger is that there is a fragile boundary between extra dosage and overdose. Addiction makes the user’s brain weak, and sometimes the side effects are simply too horrific.

Below are some of the side effects associated with drug and alcohol abuse and addiction:

  1. Hallucinations
  2. Lung and heart diseases
  3. Paranoia
  4. Lack of pain sensation
  5. Loss of appetite
  6. Aggressive and moody behaviour
  7. Muscle cramping
  8. Chills and extensive sweating
  9. Memory loss
  10. Abnormal weight changes

It is said this reduces their average life by a sharp 24 years! In addition, excessive alcohol usage is the cause of a total of 3.2% of cancer deaths. Alcohol and drug abuse also lead to serious mental health complications. As per reports, the average number of suicide deaths between 2015 and 2019 was reported to be 401. The table below outlines a few statistics about the deaths associated with alcohol abuse alone.

CauseAverage Number of Deaths between 2015 and 2019
Alcohol Dependence Syndrome264
Coronary Heart disease604

 These are the impacts that the user suffers at a personal level. 

However, the consequences also extend to the user’s family and country. Drug addiction often makes families cash-strapped, which might push them into the clutches of poverty.

Once users are in total control of the drugs, they may not hesitate to commit atrocities such as murder or robberies to acquire funds because the alternative is an extremely agonizing withdrawal episode.

All in all, not only does drug abuse increase the crime rate, but it also destroys peace and creates distrust and chaos in the economy. An average of 280 deaths were reported between 2015 and 2019 as a result of excessive alcohol abuse.

 Every year, excessive alcohol usage costs the state a total of 16.3 billion dollars, and the government bears all these expenses.

These costs are incurred due to health care and criminal justice-associated expenses for compensating motor vehicle crash costs and losses in workplace productivity. 

The crime rates due to drug smuggling and trading are also high. Fentanyl, which is the leading cause of death in the USA, is illegally transported throughout the country. Amidst the total Fentanyl seized, 10% came from New York itself! 

What Measures Are Being Taken to Address the Overdose Crisis?

In most cases, overdose deaths are preventable if you are aware of the antidote to an overdose. Using a medication known as naloxone, the effect of opioid overdose can be nullified. To learn more about administering this medication, you can attend programs conducted by Opioid Overdose Prevention Programs (OOPPs).

During these seminars, you learn about how to detect the signs of an overdose and also discover the appropriate protocols to follow to mitigate the overdose effects. If you can not physically attend their seminars, you can also watch the virtual seminars conducted for free.

In addition, naloxone nasal spray was declared an over-the-counter drug in September of 2023 and hence can be obtained without producing a prescription from health care professionals. 

According to the New York State Opioid Annual Report 2022, these initiatives have increased the number of unique naloxone administrations by 9.6%, from 17,026 unique naloxone administrations in 2020 to 18,653 in 2021. 

For opioid addiction, treatments involving methadone or buprenorphine can be used, provided that you get the consultation of an expert physician. Lastly, you can always dial 988 to learn more about the treatment centres nearest to you. It takes courage to seek rehabilitation for substance use disorder, and in fact, a total of 179,036 people sought treatment in different forms in the year 2022 alone. 
Out of these, 26.4% of people were aged between 25 and 34, while 26% were aged between 35 and 44.

What Are The Drug-Related Arrest Statistics In New York?

Illegal drugs might be causing more crimes and violent incidents in New York City. Since the beginning of the drug war, mass imprisonments for drug-related offenses have been the norm for law enforcement. The primary causes of these jail terms are drug manufacturing and sales, followed by drug possession.

From the end of 2019 until the first quarter of 2022, official data on drug-related arrests shows that:

  • Of the 100 drug-related accusations in 2021, 57 led to a conviction; in 2019, that number was closer to 78.
  • About 706 drug-related arrests occurred in Manhattan in 2021, similar to 2019.
  • In 2021, however, there were only 2,849 people jailed on serious drug possession charges—a 48% decrease from 2019.
Drug Related Arrest Statistics New York State In A Bar Graph On Comparison Of 2019 And First Quarter Of 2022

What Are The New York DUI and DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) Statistics?

In New York, DWIs occur as often as DUIs. Many DWI offenders who are found guilty also frequently have a history of being in tragic accidents. In 2021, almost 5,000 people under 21 were charged with DWI. This means they were not only drinking alcohol when they were young but also driving while drunk.

16% of weekend nighttime drivers tested positive for illicit drugs, according to a recent NHTSA poll. A 10-month study conducted in New York found that roughly 80% of drivers accused of driving while intoxicated tested positive for drugs. According to the NYCPD, in December 2022, “drugs” were involved in 8 auto accidents, and prescription medicine played a role in 1 crash.

Drivers under the influence of cocaine or amphetamine had higher accident rates, resulting in injuries or fatalities, as compared to drivers under the influence of other substances.

Cannabis is the most often found intoxicant in drivers following a collision, after alcohol.

A little over 30% of fatal collisions in New York State are caused by alcohol. An injury related to intoxicated driving also occurs every two minutes. Thirty-seven people died in these collisions, making up 3% of all drunk driving deaths in the nation that year.

Now, we will compare New York DUI arrest data with US DUI arrest data to gain a clear insight into this crime.

Dui Arrest Data New York Infographic

     Comparison of National DUI Arrest With New York DUI Arrest

Drug-induced Sexual and Violent Crime Statistics 

Among other crimes, using drugs or alcohol can be a major factor in the conduct of violent and sexual crimes.

An assessment of drug usage conducted in emergency departments in New York City indicates that crack cocaine is the drug most commonly associated with violent crime. On the other hand, OPC caused a 7.8% decrease in violent crime complaint reports in New York. There’s evidence of a 19.7% decline in simple assaults but a corresponding increase in severe assaults of 30.4%.

There is limited study on sexual violence among young adult opioid users in the context of drug use, even though drug and alcohol use has been linked to an elevated risk for sexual assault. 

Surprisingly, 41% of girls and 11% of males reported having intercourse against their will while using drugs, according to the study’s findings. The study also discovered that drug usage and sex were expected to come with a trade-off. During the structured interviews, 75% of the participants said that they had experienced circumstances when they believed that someone was expecting them to have sex because they were doing drugs together. 73% of women and 49% of men said this had happened to them at least once.

Overall, approximately 5% of the women had sexual attacks without their consent; however, the majority of these incidents happened after the women had freely drank alcohol, and a small number happened after they had been given drugs without their consent. 

The most recent Annual Security and Fire Safety Report from Binghamton University showed data that in 2022, there were 12 recorded rape occurrences, as opposed to 21 in 2021

Between 2021 and 2022, there were fewer documented drug and alcohol behavior referral cases—from 339 to 159 and from 159 to 0. While reported incidents of stalking rose from 47 to 69, cases of dating violence were relatively unchanged. 

Economic Compulsive Crime Statistics

Many drug addicts commit crimes to fund their drug habit. Drug addicts frequently conduct financial and property crimes, which are classified as economic-compulsive crimes.

A common theory linking property crime to people bearing the expenses of daily drug usage is that 17% of state and federal convicts committed their crimes in 2004 to obtain money for drugs. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2006), drug offenders (26%) and property (30%) were more likely to have committed their crimes to fund their drug use than those who were accused of violent crimes (10%) in New York.

New York Drug Trafficking Statistics

Drug traffickers never stop coming up with new ideas and expanding the variety of drugs they sell. Between consumers and manufacturers alike, this has led to insecurity and assault. 

10% of the fentanyl detected in the United States in 2022 was discovered in New York City. It was projected that 500 kg of fentanyl powder and 4 million fake fentanyl tablets would be found in 2023.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), the most often used illicit CPDs that are also linked to overdose incidents are economic painkillers. In New York, NDTS Respondents reported a high percentage of Controlled Prescription Drugs availability in 2013 (71%) compared to 2007 (32%)

What is the most common reason for substance use disorder treatment admissions in New York State?

Alcohol is the most common substance cited at the time of admission for substance use disorder treatment in New York State, accounting for approximately 45.9% of all admissions in 2022.

How has the trend in heroin use changed in terms of treatment admissions over recent years in New York State?

There has been a notable decrease in heroin use admissions over recent years. From 2017 to 2022, admissions for heroin as a primary substance have decreased by 24.4%, reflecting a shift in the patterns of drug use and possibly the impact of public health interventions and policy changes.

What percentage of drug overdose deaths in New York State involved opioids in 2022?

In 2022, opioids were a primary or contributing factor in 84.3% of all drug overdose deaths in New York State, with synthetic opioids like fentanyl being particularly prevalent.

Which age group is most commonly admitted for substance use disorder treatment in New York State?

Adults aged 25-44 years represent the largest group admitted for substance use disorder treatment, comprising over half of all admissions. This demographic is critical for targeted preventive measures and interventions.

What types of substance use disorder treatment services are available in New York State?

New York State offers various treatment services certified by the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS), including outpatient programs, opioid treatment programs (OTPs), inpatient services, residential services, and crisis services. Each service type caters to different needs levels, from detoxification and crisis intervention to long-term medication management and counseling.

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