Drug overdose deaths across the midstate and potential impact made by the COVID-19 pandemic

Investigations

Harrisburg, Pa. (WHTM) – Over the course of past few years (since 2017) Pennsylvania has seen a slight decline in the number of drug overdose deaths. 

The goal of this report is to look at data from this year, specifically from February to the present, and see if the drug overdose death numbers were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Unfortunately, this data has not been released yet.  

The graph and chart below shows the drug overdose data from 2012-2019. We are working on obtaining the data from 2020 in order to see if there is any correlation between drug overdoses and COVID-19.  

OPIOID OVERDOSES  

In Pennsylvania, the opioid overdose epidemic is the worst public health crisis, in almost a generation.  

The most up to date data from the Pennsylvania Department of health shows from January 1, 2018 to May 23, 2020: there were 24,409 people who visited the ER for opioid overdoses.  

During this same time frame: 37,351 doses of Naloxone were administered by EMS. 

This story is a work in progress, as we are awaiting the release of more up-to-date data, and will be updated as soon as more information comes in.  

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