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PHILADELPHIA NEWS

DEA Releases 2015 Drug-Related Overdose Death Report For Pennsylvania

JUL 12 (PHILADELPHIA) – Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Division, announced today that 3,383 drug-related overdose deaths were reported across Pennsylvania in 2015; an increase of 23.4% from the total number of overdose deaths reported in 2014.   

The DEA released its Analysis of Drug Related Deaths in Pennsylvania, 2015 report earlier today during a news conference held at the DEA field division office in Philadelphia.  This report is the second comprehensive analysis of illicit drug and pharmaceutical overdose deaths across Pennsylvania’s 67 counties and the first year-to-year comparison with 2014 data.

Key findings of the report indicate that the drug overdose death rate was 26 per 100,000 people in Pennsylvania, an increase from the reported 2014 rate of 21 per 100,000 people.  The report, which includes demographic data, further indicated that heroin and/or at least one opioid were present in 81% of the decedents. 

“The abuse of illicit street drugs and diverted pharmaceuticals continues to take too many lives and destroys families across Pennsylvania and the nation at large,” said Tuggle.  “It is imperative that law enforcement, healthcare and treatment professionals, elected officials, and community groups work together to address the factors impacting availability, use, and abuse of these drugs.” 

The DEA worked collectively with the Philadelphia-Camden High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program, the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, coroners and medical examiners across Pennsylvania to prepare this report.

The full report is available on DEA.gov.  Inquiries regarding the report may be directed to DEA Public Information Officer/Special Agent Patrick J. Trainor at either (215) 852-8740 or patrick.j.trainor@usdoj.gov.    


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