Photo by Mark Hallum
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz warned residents that the opioid crisis continues during the coronavirus pandemic.

With the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging so many communities in the borough, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is reminding residents that there is another serious public health threat facing this generation.

Opioid addiction has led to an increase in overdoses, and the numbers have not subsided during the coronavirus outbreak.

Opioids are extremely deadly, particularly when illicitly manufactured with fentanyl and fentanyl analogs and derivatives. In just five months, Queens County has had a 56 percent increase in overdose deaths in 2020, compared to 2019.

In 2018, Queens registered 251 overdose threats; in 2019, there were 265 overdoses. Of those 265 deaths last year, 155 were related to fentanyl or fentanyl analogs and derivatives. For 2020, there have already been 86 suspected overdoses in Queens.

“We are living through extraordinary times,” Katz said. “We are fighting battles no one would have expected, but still we push forward with hope and unrelenting resolve to succeed. Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic has made the opioid epidemic even worse for those fighting for their sobriety.”

Katz added that there are avenues to help those fighting to stay drug-free. The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) updated its outpatient treatment programs to maximize the use of telehealth services and additional guidelines on in-person interactions. In collaboration, both OASAS and the city’s Department of Health have rolled out a methadone delivery program for patients with COVID-19.

There are many opioid treatment resources available across the borough including Samaritan Daytop Village in Jamaica at 718-657-6195, Elmcor Youth & Adult Services in Corona at 718-651-0096and J-CAPin Jamaica at 718-322-2500.

Medical detox services are available at Cornerstone of Medical Arts in Fresh Meadows at 800-233-9999, Flushing Hospital at 718-670-5000, and Phoenix House Parkside in Long Island City at 844-815-1508.

Other treatment resources are available at the AIDS Center of Queens County in Jamaica at 718-896-2500 and the Department of Health and Hygiene Harm Reduction Coalition at 212-213-6976.

Harm reduction services are available at OASAS at 1-877-8HOPENY, Medication Addiction Treatment in Far Rockaway at 718-868-1400, and Narco Freedom-Bridge Plaza in Long Island City at 718-786-3474. 


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