While New York State might not be near the top of the list of the American States that have the worst drug problems, we sure do have a fair share of drug issues in the Empire State.

Many areas of New York are still feeling the impact of the Rockefeller Drug Laws that became law in New York in the 1970s and the so-called War on Drugs. Police agencies throughout New York State arrest thousands of people every year for various drug-related offenses. Those charges and offenses can range from simple possession of illegal substances to drug sales and trafficking.

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Annually, the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services releases data that breaks down the various crime statistics that occur throughout New York State. It gives data on the City, County, Regional, and State levels, along with all sorts of statistical analysis that is attached to that data. Most of the data is available to anyone on New York State's Open Data website.

I've been going through a lot of the crime data and was curious about how many drug arrests were happening across the state, and where those arrests were concentrated. In the 2020 New York State County Crime Index Count, which is the most recent data that's available, it shows that counties like Bronx, Kings, Queens, Suffolk, and Erie counties were among the counties with the highest amount of raw arrests. However, it was the per capita index that was really eye-opening.

Chemung County in the Southern Tier tops the list with more than 560 drug arrests for every 100,000 people. Greene County in the Capital Region isn't that far behind. These numbers really beat other parts of the state like Bronx County with 250.86 drug arrests per 100,000 people, while Erie County is at 184.05 drug arrests per 100,000 people.

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