BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Heroin overdoses are on the rise in Western New York, according to New York State police, who say “a more lethal strand” of the drug is going around.

They say that over 12 days, 94 overdoses, six of which were fatal, were reported in the region. These occurred between Jan. 27 and Feb. 7.

20 of these overdoses and three of the deaths occurred in Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties.

“Naloxone (Narcan) has been administered 57 times during this time frame,” State police wrote. “The rural areas have a longer medical response than the urban areas, which can contribute to the overdose being fatal.”

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that in 2021, there were 106,699 drug overdose deaths in the United States, and this data hasn’t been trending in a positive direction.

“Drug overdose deaths have risen fivefold over the past 2 decades,” the CDC says.

Data from the New York State Comptroller’s Office says that New York’s opioid overdose death rates exceeded national rates in both 2020 and 2021.

In 2021, there were 5,841 overdose deaths in the state — a stark contrast from the 1,557 that occurred in 2010.

The same data shows that the majority of these deaths, both at a state (4,946) and national (80,401) level, were the result of opioids.

If you or someone you know is struggling with opiate use, the New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) has resources for help:

Trooper James O’Callaghan joined News 4 on Wednesday to discuss the recent overdoses. The full interview can be seen below.

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Evan Anstey is an Associated Press Award, JANY Award and Emmy-nominated digital producer who has been part of the News 4 team since 2015. See more of his work here and follow him on Twitter.