In the Bronx, heroin woes never went away
If the South Bronx were a state it would have the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths — 34 per 100,000 people — in the country, after West Virginia.22 Apr 2017
During the 1970s and ’80s, Sojourner McCauley, who grew up in the Melrose Houses in the South Bronx, was known as a “garbage head.” Garbage heads were catholic in their drug tastes, getting high on whatever was around. Until she stopped at the insistence of her children 30 years ago, Ms. McCauley, who is now the coordinator of community services at Boom, a drug-treatment center in Mott Haven, had multiple addictions, she said recently, including a dependence on heroin, whose devastating movement through the Bronx she has observed for decades, never noticing a time it was absent.
If the South Bronx were a state (its population of more than a half-million makes it roughly equivalent to Wyoming’s) it would have the second-highest rate of drug overdose deaths — 34 per 100,000 people — in the country, after West Virginia. The majority of these deaths are due to heroin, which during the past several months has arrived in New York, as it has in many other places around the country, laced with fentanyl, a painkiller typically used to treat late-stage cancer patients, and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.
Most of what is getting here, said Dr. Mary T. Bassett, New York City’s health commissioner, seems to come from China; since July, nearly half of all fatal drug overdoses in the city have involved fentanyl.Share this on: