In SW Pa, concern about gains in scrip drug abuse

February 1, 2014
Associated Press (Pennsylvania)

In the region's other counties, the number of overdose deaths from both prescription and illegal drugs in 2011 was, listed from the highest rate to lowest: Greene, 10 deaths, or 28.2 per 100,000 residents; Beaver, 37 deaths, or 24.2 per 100,000 residents; Washington, 40 deaths, or 21.2 per 100,000 residents; Westmoreland, 78 deaths, or 20.4 per 100,000; and Butler, 30 deaths, or 17 per 100,000 residents.

All counties in southwestern Pennsylvania outpace the state in the number of deaths per 100,000 people. Statewide, the rate is 15.3 — 14th highest in the nation, according to a recent study by the nonprofit, Trust for America's Health.

In Westmoreland County, Coroner Ken Bacha is on a mission to educate the public about prescription drug abuse.

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