The United States is experiencing the worst drug crisis in its history.
In 2017, drug overdoses killed about 72,000 Americans, a record number that reflects a rise of nearly 10 percent, according the Centers for Disease Control. Each day in the US, nearly 200 people die from drug overdoses. To put it in perspective, this number is the equivalent of a Boeing 727 crashing every day.
The statistics for Pennsylvania are just as grim. More than 5,500 Pennsylvanians died of drug overdoses in 2017 – an 8.1 percent increase from 2016. From April 2017 to 2018, opioid deaths in Pennsylvania decreased to 4,871. While lower, the numbers still rank among the highest in the nation.
Locally, more than 40 people died from opioid overdoses in Cumberland County from January through October, 2018. In the harder hit Dauphin County, 105 people died from overdoses in 2017 and more than 60 have died from January until September, 2018. York County’s number are even higher.
These statistics highlight our nation’s continued need for education about the dangers of drugs and addiction, for legislative and community support to handle the crisis, and for trustworthy and effective treatment centers to help addicted people recover.
Cumberland County Coroner’s Report findings in The Sentinel newspaper, Oct. 10, 2018 – https://cumberlink.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/rate-of-overdose-deaths-on-the-decline-in-cumberland-county/article_22bb9d11-452b-506c-a8b8-c02f04f646aa.html
Drug Overdose Deaths Continue, David Wenner, PennLive.com, August 16, 2018 – https://www.pennlive.com/news/2018/08/drug_overdose_deaths_continue_1.html
Overdose Deaths Spike in Dauphin County, WPMT Fox43, September 4, 2018 – https://fox43.com/2018/09/04/overdose-deaths-spike-in-dauphin-county/
Drug, Homicide Deaths Rise in York County in 2017, Christopher Dornblaser, The York Dispatch, February 1, 2018 – https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2018/02/01/drug-homicide-deaths-rise-york-county-2017/1087148001/