The number of deaths in Broome County attributed to heroin or other opioids has decreased for a second consecutive year.

The Broome County District Attorney's Office Thursday reported 31 confirmed overdose deaths occurred in 2018. That compares to 66 the previous year and 76 in 2016.

District Attorney Stephen Cornwell started tracking overdose fatalities two years ago after county officials revealed they had no statistics they could make public about how many heroin-related deaths had occurred.

Cornwell's office now is notified of apparent overdose deaths as they are reported to authorities. The office issues updates on the confirmed number of fatalities attributed to opioids.

An investigator in the district attorney's office reviews various reports and death certificates as part of the effort to determine how many deaths are linked to opioids.

The 2018 report on overdose deaths indicated 94 percent were related to heroin or other opioids. The remaining deaths were attributed to other drugs, which were not identified.

Two more deaths from last year are under review pending the completion of toxicology tests.

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