22 Cases of Opioid Overdoses in Suffolk County Within 48 Hours

In an alarming rise, 22 opioid-related overdoses were reported within 48 hours in Suffolk County, police said.

At least one person died, in Elwood, police said.

The overdoses were primarily caused by heroin, prescription drugs and fentanyl, which is similar to morphine but 50-to-100 times more potent.

"This is a serious public health concern, with a 60 percent uptick in opioid-related doses," said Suffolk County Police Commissioner Timothy D. Sini at a news conference.

Medical professionals echoed that heroin overdoses are an epidemic that's affecting the whole country.

"The overdose rates are astronomical," said Steve Chassman, executive director of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence.

"We don't have the luxury of time, one usage can lead to a fatal overdose," said Anthony Rizzuto, founder nonprofit organization Families in Support of Treatment.

Sini said that police are targeting drug dealers and working with the New York Police Department by sharing data. He emphasized that the problem is not clustered in one neighborhood.

"This is affecting every single community in Suffolk County," he said.

Sini encouraged anyone who needs help to contact the Long Island Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependence 24-hour hotline at (631) 979-1700.

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