NYTimes: Fentanyl Outpaces Heroin as the Deadliest Drug on Long Island. Counselors call the drug’s surge the “scariest thing” they have seen, while officials are calling for “intervention from all levels of government.”
An anesthetic commonly used for surgery has surpassed heroin to become the deadliest drug on Long Island, killing at least 220 people there in 2016, according to medical examiners’ records.
The drug, fentanyl, is a synthetic opioid, which can be 100 times more potent than morphine.
The numbers from Long Island are part of a national pattern, as fentanyl fatalities have already surpassed those from heroin in other parts of the country, including New England, as its use has skyrocketed. Part of the reason for the increase is economic — because fentanyl can be manufactured in the lab, it is much cheaper and easier than cultivating heroin.