STATEN ISLAND — Staten Island has had eight drug overdoses in as many days, six of which were fatal.
The deaths caused District Attorney Michael McMahon to call opioids a "plague" on the borough.
The number of fatal opioid overdoses have climbed this year in the borough, with 46 deaths reported since January, McMahon said.
"This drug epidemic is now a plague on our Island — eight overdoses in eight days," McMahon said in a statement.
"If Staten Island were faced with 46 shooting homicides since January 1st there would be a police officer on every street corner and an uproar on a citywide, statewide and national level to match the severity of such tragic circumstances.
"These overdoses are no less tragic and the rampant availability of heroin and illegal opioids on our streets are proving to be as dangerous a weapon as any we face."
The eight ODs include an 18-year-old man found by his father in Great Kills, a 47-year-old man found dead by his brother and a 53-year-old man found several days after he died in his Port Richmond home, McMahon said.
McMahon also said that the numbers for this year are only the ones reported to the NYPD and his office as overdoses. He expects there could be as many as 30 percent of ODs not reported as such.
The borough has been in the throes of a prescription drug and heroin epidemic for the past several years and has the highest rate of accidental ODs in the city, according to the Department of Health.
Several city programs have been launched to tackle it, including making anti-OD drug naloxone available in pharmacies.