Go To Search
News Flash Home
The original item was published from 6/19/2014 1:56:49 PM to 6/19/2014 3:01:18 PM.

Human Services

Posted on: June 19, 2014

[ARCHIVED] Drug overdose deaths up 7% nationally, far more in Pa. and N.J

Drug overdose deaths up 7% nationally, far more in Pa. and N.J.

Don Sapatkin, Philadelphia Inquirer Staff Writer

Published Thursday, June 19, 2014, 11:12 AM

Americans' treacherous relationship with prescription painkillers and other drugs appears to be worsening, with fatal overdoses up 7 percent in one year - and twice that rate of increase in New Jersey and triple in Pennsylvania, according to new federal statistics. Drug-related deaths for the first time topped 1,000 in New Jersey and 2,000 in Pennsylvania in 2011; over 41,000 died nationwide.

Despite the increase, New Jersey's drug poisoning rate remained well below the national average, placing it 36th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Pennsylvania ranked 7th nationally, moving from 14th the previous year. It leapt over Delaware, now ranked 9th, one of 11 states that experienced declines.

"This data clearly documents the severity of this growing epidemic throughout Pennsylvania," Beverly Haberle, executive director of The Council of Southeast Pennsylvania, the regional affiliate of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, said Thursday. "It is no longer possible to shut our eyes and wish the problem will just go away. Everyone can get involved and play a role in solving this tragic problem."

Drug deaths have more than doubled in a decade nationwide, driven largely by skyrocketing use and abuse of prescription narcotics, mainly painkillers. The latest data do not separate classes of drugs, although other studies have found that deaths from prescription opioids now exceed those from cocaine and heroin combined.

At the same time, the epidemic has triggered increases in heroin use as people build up tolerance to pharmaceutical opioids and turn to heroin as a far cheaper, stronger - and even more deadly - alternative.

Heroin-related fatalities have increased sharply over the past few years in Philadelphia and even more so in the suburbs.




Facebook Twitter Google Plus Email

Other News in Human Services

5 Myths About Suicide (Opinion)

Posted on: June 9, 2016

Writing Away the Stigma

Posted on: June 1, 2016

June is PTSD Awareness Month

Posted on: June 1, 2016

Autism Awareness Month recognized

Posted on: April 29, 2016

U.S. suicide rates up

Posted on: April 22, 2016

Soup delivery to Union Mission

Posted on: February 11, 2016

Smart Driver series offered by WCCC

Posted on: January 28, 2016

Saint Vincent students know how to wrap!

Posted on: December 14, 2015

Pennsylvania sees rise in homeless students

Posted on: September 15, 2015

September is FASD month

Posted on: September 8, 2015

NAMI has a new home on the web

Posted on: July 22, 2015

Majesty Care Clinic

Posted on: July 14, 2015

July Drug Overdose Task Force news

Posted on: July 9, 2015

Need a car to get to work?

Posted on: May 20, 2015

Community Care Naloxone Conference

Posted on: March 23, 2015

Laurel: To fighting drug overdoses.

Posted on: March 13, 2015

KeepKidsSafe.pa.gov launched

Posted on: January 12, 2015

Painkiller Abuse, a Cyclical Challenge

Posted on: December 30, 2014

Ministry makes sure no one goes hungry

Posted on: October 14, 2014