STATEN ISLAND — The number of people who died from overdoses on Staten Island this year has already overtaken 2015's total, District Attorney Michael McMahon said.
The DA's office has tracked 75 fatalities thought to have been caused by drug overdoses so far this year, higher than the 69 from last year, Politico New York first reported.
If the numbers continue to climb, this year's on track to have more overdoses than the borough's seen in nearly 20 years, according to Department of Health statistics.
McMahon has tracked the number of ODs reported to the NYPD and the DA's office since he took over the position in January. He has previously said that as many as 30 percent of overdoses are not reported to his office.
The city has started several programs to help curb the prescription drug and heroin epidemic in the borough, including outfitting emergency workers with the anti-overdose medicine naloxone and making it available for sale without a prescription.
This year, 50 people were saved using naloxone, which essentially reverses the effect of an overdose, McMahon said.
Earlier this year, McMahon launched a program to investigate every suspected drug death like a crime scene to trace the source of the drugs and he opened a court dedicated to hearing felony narcotic cases to speed up the process.
He's also working on an initiative to start sending low-level drug offenders to treatment centers instead of jail, Crain's New York reported.