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The two towns that make up the summer playground of the Hamptons are facing a grave threat.
Southampton and East Hampton are seeing opioid use on the rise, according to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal.
From 2010 to 2016, more than 50 people died from opioid-related drug overdoses in the Hamptons. The rate of overdoses in the area increased by nearly 70% in that time period – more than the national average, a 55% increase, according to the Suffolk County Police Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The problem didn’t crop out of nowhere. For years, pain medications were overprescribed. After stricter rules were enforced, many turned to similar street substances like heroin.
“We certainly recognize we’re not immune to the scourge of drug abuse and misuse and the associated heroin epidemic,” East Hampton Police Captain Christopher Anderson told The Journal.
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Schools and the police departments in the area have begun seeking to distribute Narcan, a drug that can negate the effects of opioids in the event of an overdose.
The problem in the Hamptons mirrors the issues happening in other summer enclaves like Nantucket, where a lack of social support services and relative physical isolation exacerbate the issue.
The rate of overdose deaths across the US has doubled in the past 15 years, according to a new report by the CDC.