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Overdose deaths have nearly doubled from pre-pandemic levels in New York City, according to new city data.

The Department of Health reports that 1,233 people died from drug overdoses during the first half of 2021, the most recent period available.

That’s a startling 78% increase from the same period in 2019, and a 28% increase from the same period in 2020.

And that’s not even the final count.

Some deaths are still subject to final determination, with more-recent quarters “subject to larger increases,” the DOH said, as drugs are found to explain even more deaths.

The agency blamed fentanyl — a powerful and deadly synthetic opioid — for the rise in deaths.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency recorded record inflows of the drug to New York City in 2021, seizing more than a ton in the city that year.

“Throughout my 30 years in law enforcement, I have never seen anything with greater killing power,” DEA New York Division acting special agent in charge Tim Foley previously told The Post.

 Bags of heroin are displayed before a press conference
Bags of heroin are displayed at a press conference following a drug bust in NY.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images
Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl
The Department of Health fentanyl for the rise in the death total.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Drug organizations in Mexico manufacture the drug, using chemicals sourced from China, according to the DEA.

Fentanyl was tied to 78% of the first-half 2021 overdose deaths recorded by DOH.

Other drugs — such as ecstasy, cocaine, heroine, and meth — are often cut with fentanyl, leading to unexpected overdoses, a rep for New York’s addiction services agency previously told The Post.

Last month, when West Point cadets overdosed in Florida while on Spring Break, they had been taking cocaine laced with fentanyl.

Source: NYPOST

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