A New Drug Overdose Epidemic Is Hitting the City of Binghamton Hard


Maia Graham , Student Journalist

In the midst of a national overdose epidemic, the City of Binghamton is seeing dramatic increases in overdoses

According to various sources, including the Broome Opioid Awareness Council (BOAC), the City of Binghamton has been experiencing a spike in overdoses since the beginning of January. Binghamton Police have responded to over 47 overdose calls; a dramatic increase in drug overdoses that the police had yet to witness. 

This recent spike could be because of many factors, but all the overdose cases reported have one thing in common: all of the narcotics were laced with fentanyl. Fentanyl is a specific narcotic mostly used as a pain killer or sometimes for pleasure. Fentanyl has also caused a spike in national overdose rates over the years, but it is relatively new in Binghamton. Mayor Jared Kraham says that fentanyl has been circulating throughout the City of Binghamton since the beginning of January and its increasing numbers are being dealt with by both the police and community organizations that provide treatment programs. The Addiction Center of Broome County provides many of these treatment programs to help overcome substance abuse disorders. 

“Certainly, something the community can do is be trained in how to use Narcan and know the signs of an overdose and to help keep people safe and keep them breathing and alive,” says Camila Pirich, Executive Director of the Addiction Center of Broome County. Pirich is referring to a medicine called Narcan that is used to treat narcotic overdoses in emergencies, which police officers have been required to carry in every patrol car since 2014. 

Pirich warns that many fentanyl-laced drugs have been reported including heroin, cocaine, meth, and counterfeit pills which are most likely contributing to recent overdose rates as well. 

“If you have a family member, if you have a loved one, a friend, or a coworker, who you know is using, there has never been a more critical time to support them in seeking help,” says Mayor Jared Kraham. 

Aside from anything else, both the mayor and addiction centers agree that the most important thing to do in this situation is to support addiction victims. Those who use substances are encouraged by the BOAC to utilize the Never Use Alone Hotline by calling 1-800-997-2280. If there is an overdose present, please call 9-1-1.