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Tompkins County sees sharp rise in overdoses

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Recent data highlights a concerning trend in Tompkins County, with reports indicating that unintentional drug overdoses have almost doubled since 2019. Tompkins County Whole Health revealed that the number of overdoses rose from 12 to 23 over the last five years, emphasizing the growing danger within the community, particularly in the Ithaca area and, to a lesser extent, Dryden.

Frank Kruppa, Commissioner of Tompkins County Whole Health, underscored the lethal risks associated with the use of illicit street drugs, now frequently tainted with deadly substances such as fentanyl or xylazine. He urged those using illicit drugs to exercise caution, test their supplies, and avoid using alone to mitigate the risk of overdose.

The severity of the situation was further illustrated by findings from the Southern Tier AIDS program, which discovered that all heroin samples tested from Tompkins and Broome Counties over the past nine months contained fentanyl, and a significant majority also contained xylazine. This revelation confirms the dangerous contamination of street drugs in the area, raising alarms about the increased risk of overdose.