Three people in Staten Island died of a heroin overdose in a 24-hour period, according to reports.
Three heroin-related deaths were reported over the weekend in the borough of Staten Island, which has been battling a heroin epidemic.
Ten people died of an overdose in the last two weeks and police busted nearly double that number of alleged gang members in the same period – 11 members of the Boulevard Boys and six from the Beach Boys crew, Fox5 New York reported.
The Beach Boys gang dealt mainly around South Beach, Arrochar, Dongan Hills, Grasmere and Stapleton, the Richmond County D.A.’s office said.
“Stemming the flow of dangerous narcotics in our communities is the only way we will ever rid Staten Island of this drug scourge,” District Attorney Michael McMahon said. “My office will continue working with our partners in the NYPD to ensure that those responsible for flooding our streets with deadly heroin are held accountable for their actions.”
One of the recent overdoses occurred in the bathroom of a Staten Island Mall restaurant, according to media reports.
McMahon said it might not be a bad batch of heroin; the heroin could just be stronger.
“The heroin we are seeing is coming from Mexico, 60, 70, 80 percent,” McMahon told PIX11 New York, “and it is often mixed with fentanyl.”
McMahon compared the ease of heroin home delivery to pizza delivery, Fox5 reported. At least 70 people have died of an overdose so far this year in the borough.
McMahon developed a heroin overdose initiativethat makes rehab a more viable option than jail for heroin abusers. The plan came afterthe 2009 pill problem on Staten Island turned to the easier, cheaper high of heroin.
“It started with the painkillers and then it moved to heroin in Middle America,” McMahon told PIX11 New York, “and Staten Island is more like Middle America thanthe four other boroughs.”
“Although I am proud of the work the NYPD and my office has done on the Overdose Response Initiative and in the takedowns of over four dozen drug dealers since January 1st – that alone cannot win this war,” McMahon wrote in a Facebook post. “I implore every level of government and every Staten Islander to mobilize in this fight – we need better access and availability to treatment and recovery programs, and we need everyone to educate themselves and their loved ones about the dangerousness and toxicity of these drugs. Make no mistake about it and spread the word: Heroin kills.”