Report: Heroin deaths on the rise in Hudson Valley

Rockland County saw a 56 percent increase with a total of 98 deaths since 2003.

Rockland County saw a 56 percent increase with a total of 98 deaths since 2003. (5/25/16)

NEW CITY - The number of opioid-related deaths is New York continues to rise, including in the Hudson Valley, according to the state Health Department.

Figures released by the department show a surge in heroin abuse across the state. Rockland County saw a 56 percent increase with a total of 98 deaths since 2003. In Westchester, there were a total of 460 opioid deaths during that same time frame for an increase of 61 percent.

Rockland County Executive Ed Day says more young people have easier access to painkillers, and advises parents to do their part in combating the growing problem. "We need to make sure that kids don't have the opportunity to get legal drugs from the medicine chest in the homes of our families," says Day.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers are discussing a package of bills to address the heroin epidemic, which includes expanding training and making the drug antidote, Narcan, more readily available.

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