Pushing a drug to curb deaths from overdoses

Naloxone use spreading, but local police split on improving access

April 17, 2014
by Peter Hall
Morning Call

Law enforcement and health officials agree there's no question Pennsylvania shares the impact of the national opioid addiction epidemic.

Pennsylvania has the 14th highest overdose rate in the United States, according to a 2013 study by Trust for America's Health. With 15.3 deaths per 100,000 people, the rate has increased by 89 percent since 1999.

A state coroners association study of heroin-related deaths in 40 counties between 2009 and 2013 shows they peaked at 827 in 2012. Lehigh County's largest number of heroin-related deaths during the five years of the study was 10 in 2009. The largest number in Northampton County was 40 in 2011.

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