DDAP and Health Release Joint Statement on PA Coroners’ Overdose Death Statistics Report

HARRISBURG, Pa. – The Departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs (DDAP) and Health (DOH) today issued a joint statement about the Pennsylvania Coroner’s Association report issued yesterday on Overdose Death Statistics for 2014.

According to the report, in 2014 nearly 2,489 individuals have died as a result of drug-related overdose deaths, showing a 20 percent increase from the prior year.

DDAP Acting Secretary Gary Tennis said:

“With at least seven Pennsylvanians dying every day due to drug-related overdose, it is clear that Pennsylvania is dealing with a major health crisis.

“We applaud the Pennsylvania Coroners Association for assembling and releasing this thorough Report on Overdose Death Statistics for 2014.

“The details provided in the report are invaluable; they will help federal, state and local officials better target our emergency care, prevention, intervention, and treatment services, as well as help law enforcement most effectively focus its efforts to protect our citizens. All in all, the Coroners Association has done a tremendous job enabling us to better serve and protect our fellow Pennsylvanians.”

DOH Acting Secretary Karen Murphy stated:

“The report on drug overdoses presented by the PA Coroners’ today is devastating and eye-opening.

“The Pennsylvania Department of Health is working in collaboration with the PA Coroners Association, as well as the departments of Drug and Alcohol Programs and Human Services and other government agencies to develop a comprehensive plan to prevent and treat prescription drug and heroin abuse and mitigate overdose.

“This administration has taken significant steps to address this crisis, including enacting legislation that permits the administration of naloxone by first responders to reverse opioid overdose and implementing an expanded prescription drug monitoring program.”

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