City officials urge treatment as drug overdose deaths surpass murders

Gambit - Drug-related overdose deaths surpassed the number of murders in New Orleans in 2016. New Orleans health department medical director Joseph Kanter is urging people struggling with substance abuse to seek addiction treatment.

According to New Orleans Coroner Jeffrey Rouse, of last year's record 211 drug-related deaths, 166 involved opiates — compared to 81 in 2015. Compared to 2015 deaths, the number of people who died with the synthetic opioid fentanyl in their system more than tripled. There were 13 fentanyl-related deaths in 2015, when there were 93 drug-related deaths overall. Forty-eight people died with fentanyl in their system last year.