Drug Use in New York – Common Drugs in NYC and NY State

As the third most populated state in the country, drug use in New York does damage well beyond the five boroughs of New York City. Although drug use in New York City is rampant, substance use disorder is prevalent throughout the state. From other cities like Buffalo and Albany to suburban and rural areas, drug use in NYC is reflective of the nationwide crisis: Every area is being hit hard.

Indeed, the progression of the disease of addiction has led to a need for more teen rehab facilities in NY and more drugs rehab programs in NY for all ages.

In New York, the rise in opioid addiction and the subsequent jump in overdose rates remain the most significant problems. However, the crisis over drug use in New York does not stop with opioid abuse. Indeed, NYC Health Department focuses on the use and abuse of many different drugs on their website. Going well beyond opioids, this vast array of available drugs reveals just how badly drug rehab programs in NY and general rehab facilities in NY are needed. With addictive disorders spreading, help is required.

Common Drug Use in New York

According to the Drug Profiles Page on the NYC Health website, beyond opioids, the most common forms of drugs being used in New York include —

  1. Bath Salts
  2. Benzodiazepines
  3. Club Drugs (Ecstasy, Herbal Ecstasy, Rohypnol, GHB, Ketamine)
  4. Cocaine
  5. Methamphetamine
  6. Dissociative Drugs (PCP & Ketamine)
  7. Hallucinogens (LSD, PCP, Psilocybin, & Salvia)
  8. Inhalants
  9. K2 – Synthetic Cannabinoids
  10. Marijuana

Since all of these drugs are commonly being used and abused in New York State, the problem is massive. Also, NY teens are at risk because drug use by adults naturally trickles down. Like anything else in society and popular culture from fashion to entertainment, adult use greatly influences teen use. After all, teens imitate adults, particularly when it comes to the extreme edges of behavioral choices.

When drugs are involved, however, the dangers are imminent.

As a direct result, more teen rehab facilities in NY are needed to address this crisis. Of course, teen drug use prevention in the state is essential, but prevention programs can only help in the future. With many thousands of teenagers in New York already abusing drugs, treatment options are a necessity.

To delve deeper into the problem, let’s look at the most widely-publicized drug issue in New York — opioid addiction.

Opioid Addiction and Heroin Abuse in New York

According to the Prevent Overdose page curated by NYC Health authorities, rising overdose rates are a result of the spread of drug use in New York. Like the rest of the country, increases in heroin use, prescription painkiller abuse, and opioid addiction have led to high overdose rates. Hence, reflecting the negative trend in the rest of the country, opioid overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death in New York City. Opioid overdose deaths now surpass motor vehicle accidents.

Overall, today’s New York City drug statistics are hard to swallow for anyone. The extent of the challenge is now that extreme.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the overdose death rate in New York State is higher than the national rate. Indeed, in 2016, the overdose death rate was 15.1 per 100,000 persons as compared to the national rate of 13.3. Moreover, the tragedy of such overdose deaths has spread across the state. Deaths related to heroin drug use in New York State as a whole more than doubled between 2012 and 2016.

With the introduction of synthetic opioids as a common drug option, deaths related to these deadly drugs have increased ten-fold in the past five years. The most popular synthetic opioid is also the most dangerous — fentanyl. Fifty times more potent than heroin, fentanyl is a main cause of the rise in opioid overdoses.

Also, among opioid users using needles to administer the drug, injection use heightens the risk of severe health problems, including HIV infection and Hepatitis C infection. As of 2015, an estimated 200,000 persons were living with HCV in New York. There is little doubt that a large percentage of them were infected through intravenous drug use.

Heroin And Syringe - Teen Rehab Photo by Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

Drug Use in New York = A State Response

New York has responded to the rise in drug use across the state by providing information and data about opioid-related challenges. On the New York State Department of Health (NYSDH) website, there is a huge section on the opioid public health crisis. Indeed, the New York State Department of Health Opioid Prevention Program supports statewide prevention efforts by providing as much updated data as possible. The goal is to identify state communities that are struggling.

However, the state response is not expanding treatment options. Thus, the tremendous need for drug rehab programs in NY and rehab facilities in NY is not being addressed. Moreover, drug rehab programs in NY need to address substance use disorder challenges beyond the opioids. Unfortunately, opioid addiction is just the beginning.

Drug Use in New York Beyond Opioid Addiction

Although opioid use accounts for the most deaths by overdose, many forms of drug use are doing damage to the general population of New York State. For example, marijuana accounts for one-quarter of drug treatment admissions in the state. Marijuana use also has been connected to criminal behavior. Hence, fifty percent of males arrested for drug crimes in the state test positive for marijuana use.

According to frightening statistics presented by the NYSDH, substance abuse is a considerable problem statewide. Indeed, the most recent site updates show that “approximately twelve percent of State residents age 12 and older experience a substance use disorder (addiction or abuse) annually. Statewide, over 1.9 million New Yorkers (1.77 million adults and 156,000 youth ages 12-17) have a substance abuse problem.”

A good trend is that today the local government admits there is a problem. Frustratingly, however, state solutions for desperate New Yorkers are limited. Thus, if a parent needs to help their teen in trouble, the answer most likely will not be found through the state. Indeed, state resources do not seem to be directed towards expanding drug rehab programs in NY and opening new rehab facilities in NY.

NYSDH Response to Drug Use in New York

According to the NYSDH, here are the statewide solutions offered —

  1. Enhancing enforcement of laws prohibiting sales to minors
  2. Increasing Alcohol Taxes
  3. Maintaining limits on days of sale
  4. Regulation of Alcohol Outlet Density
  5. Increasing the number of substance abuse prevention model programs
  6. Use of SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Thus, statewide solutions mainly focus on alcohol use. Regarding substance abuse, although prevention programs are useful, the state primarily relies on Federal resources. The majority of New York resources focus on their opioid overdose prevention program and the distribution of Naloxone, the most effective opioid overdose reversal drug, to first responders statewide.

Although both preventing drug use in the first place and saving opioid overdose victims are essential facets of any response to a drug crisis, it is not enough. Instead, it’s like dealing only with the beginning and end of a story. If the local government want to help and know everything, they need to address the middle as well of drug use in New York. They need to provide treatment options for New Yorkers caught in the vise of addiction.

Focusing on More Rehab Facilities in NY

Ultimately, the best way for New York State to address the growing drug crisis is to offer more treatment options. NY residents abusing drugs need drug rehab programs in NY that will help them detox, then find a path of sustainable sobriety. Finding the path to long-term recovery takes work, particularly for teens in trouble.

As a national resource passionately dedicated to stemming the tide of the national drug crisis, Teen Rehab wants to address the substance abuse epidemic at all levels. Concerning New York, the state needs to support the expansion of treatment options. By offering quality treatment options that reflect SAMHSA’s best practices, a growing problem slowly can be reduced, and New Yorkers in crisis can be helped.