Overdose Deaths in Pennsylvania Rose by 37 Percent in 2016
According to a recent announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania rose by a stunning 37 percent in 2016. On average, 13 people died per day of a drug overdose in the state, leading to a record-high figure for drug deaths in the state in a single year.
There were 4,642 fatal overdoses in Pennsylvania, 907 of which were in Philadelphia alone. Of that total, 85 percent involved the use of prescription or illicit opioids, such as heroin. The number of fatal overdoses in the state was nearly four times the number of people who died in traffic accidents.
The data came from medical examiners and coroners throughout the state. It was compiled by DEA researchers and analyzed by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Pharmacy. The head of the local DEA division said the data was evidence of a drug abuse epidemic in Pennsylvania, and that this epidemic is not found only in inner-city areas. Today, drug addiction is an enormous problem in communities throughout the state and across virtually all demographics.
Penalties for drug crimes potentially severe
As overdose rates continue to increase and heroin use becomes more widespread throughout Pennsylvania and across the country, state and federal law enforcement officials are pushing for tougher enforcement on drug crimes and stricter penalties when possible.
Therefore, if you have been charged with a drug-related offense, it is important to work with an experienced criminal defense attorney who can protect your rights and fully explore all your legal options. For more information on how to proceed with your case, contact skilled Reading attorney David R. Eshelman.