Seized counterfeit hydrocodone tablets in the investigation of a rash of fentanyl overdoses in northern California is shown in this Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) photo released on April 4, 2016. Reuters

Overdose deaths reached record levels over a five-year period in New York City, with 2016 seeing an expected 1,000 overdoses across the city’s five boroughs. The rates of which New Yorkers have overdosed on drugs like fentanyl and heroin have continued to increase each year since the city began keeping record of a total documented overdose deaths in 2011.

Fentanyl, a powerful opioid often mixed with other drugs like cocaine, painkillers and heroin for recreational use, has seen an alarming rise in popularity throughout the U.S. Officials say over half of the total overdoses reported throughout 2016 were caused by fentanyl, Pix 11 news reported Tuesday. The drug costs less than others, like cocaine, and can be used in a number of ways, including smoking, snorting or injecting intravenously.

Heroine remains the leading drug in overdoses in New York. Regardless of a user’s drug of choice, the city’s special narcotics office says trends in overdoses are alarming, albeit expected.

"Each one of those deaths represents a loved one for somebody in this city," Bridget Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, told Pix 11. "It’s tragic but it’s not surprising."

If the city does in fact reach over 1,000 overdoses deaths in 2016, it would continue a disturbing trend throughout New York of more and more residents falling victim to the national opioid epidemic. Last year, drug overdoses throughout the city leaped 73 percent since 2011, with 937 total overdose deaths in 2015. That’s 13.6 out of 100,000 New Yorkers dying from drug use, NY Daily News reported.

Meanwhile, New York’s First Lady Chirlane McCray is spearheading an effort to reduce substance abuse throughout the boroughs. "This new data underscores the deadly toll the opioid epidemic is taking on too many families in our city," she said last year, as the surging rates for 2015 were announced. "We are steadfast in our commitment to tackle this crisis."