Philadelphia’s Drug Overdose Deaths Hit an All-Time High in 2016

Philadelphia’s growing drug overdose crisis has escalated to an unprecedented level in 2016 with a significant increase in drug-related overdose deaths.

A few weeks ago, Philadelphia’s medical examiner’s office reported 35 drug-related overdose deaths in a period 5 days. The report is a clear indication of the severity of heroin and opioid problems in Philadelphia. On December 1, 2016, twelve people died from drug overdoses. Four more people succumbed to drug overdose complications the next day. On the following weekend, seven died on Saturday, nine on Sunday, and three on Monday. All the deaths were due to drug overdoses.
The medical examiner’s office is currently working in close collaboration with the police department to determine possible reasons for the unprecedented spike in drug overdose fatalities. According to Lt. John Stanford, Philadelphia’s police spokesman, there have been incidents of drug overdoses in the past but with very few deaths. “What is emerging now is the sad fact that people are overdosing and dying,” said Lt. John Stanford.

It is quite difficult to explain the surge in overdose fatalities in Philadelphia. Investigations by relevant authorities indicate that those who died from drug overdoses got their drugs from different unrelated sources, which means the deaths were not a result of a single bad batch of heroin. It is still not quite certain whether the street heroin they consumed was of an extremely high purity level or simply laced with painkillers such as Fentanyl.

The Department of Behavioral Health’s Deputy Commissioner, Roland Lamb, claims he has never in his career seen such a large number of drug-related overdose fatalities occurring in a very short period of time. “The agency has stepped up the efforts to show people how to administer overdose antidotes and we are even distributing antidote kits across the city,” Roland Lamb stated.

The drug overdose problem is not new in Philadelphia. A DEA report released at the beginning of the year indicated that the city had a 43% increase in drug overdose deaths since 2009. Pennsylvania was even ranked first among all the states with the highest number of drug overdose deaths nationwide. The DEA report paints a grim picture of the severity of the drug abuse problem in Philadelphia.

Officials have pointed out a few reasons for the growing number of drug overdose cases in Philadelphia. For instance, the strongest and most potent form of heroin is found in Philadelphia. Heroin sold in Philadelphia is around 80% pure while the type sold in other major cities such as New York has a purity of about 45%. Philadelphia’s heroin has almost twice the purity of the variety sold in New York City.

The growing problem of drug overdose deaths is a major concern for everyone across the city and outlying areas. According to Kay McGowan, an administrator at the Montgomery County Office of Drug and Alcohol Programs, it is time everyone tried to reach out to people suffering from addiction including their families, colleagues, and friends. Everyone has a role to play in getting help to people suffering from addiction. For more information on how to locate a suitable rehabilitation center for a loved one visit

This press release was prepared and submitted by

Contact Info:
Name: Born Again Inc.
Email: Send Email
Organization: Born Again Inc.

Release ID: 156035