NEW YORK - Deaths from drug overdoses soared 66 percent from 2010 to 2015 in New York with heroin overdose death rates up 158 percent over the same period, city authorities announced Tuesday.
Heroin was involved in 59 percent of the 937 drug overdose deaths reported in America's largest city in 2015, the city health department said.
Rising opioid involved overdose deaths have become a public health crisis across the United States.
Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than car crashes.
From 2010 to 2014, the number of heroin overdose deaths in the United States more than tripled, while deaths from opioid drugs such as fentanyl -- which killed the singer Prince -- almost doubled, according to a report released by the Drug Enforcement Administration in June.
In 2014, 14,000 people died from an opioid overdose in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"These new data confirm that opioid addiction is a growing problem," New York's city health commissioner Mary Bassett said.
"It is the reason the health department has taken a comprehensive approach to prevent overdose deaths in New York City," she added.
In April, the city announced a three-year $25 million investment in April to fund education, training and surveillance efforts.
Nearly half, or 46 percent, of heroin-involved overdoses were among white New Yorkers in a rate higher than among Latino and black residents.
New Yorkers aged 45 to 54 had the highest rate of heroin overdose death, but the rate increased by 248 percent in the 15-34 age group, New York authorities said.
Fentanyl was involved in 16 percent of drug overdose deaths in 2015, up from three percent in the previous 10 years, their report found.
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