Opioid overdoses rose in 2020 in Pennsylvania, deaths up 14% compared to 2019


HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — New data continues to show how much the pandemic has contributed to a spike in opioid deaths across Pennsylvania.

Officials say each month in 2020 had a higher overdose rate compared to the same month a year earlier. They also say stimulants are playing a bigger role in opioid overdose deaths. The latest numbers show deaths were up 14% last year compared to 2019. And it’s important to note, the 2020 numbers are not final.

“The state did increase just a little bit over the next couple of months as 2020 death records continue to roll in as of the end of September. Still, over 250 of 2020 death records show the cause of death was still pending,” Epidemiologist, Dr. Carrie Thomas Goetz said.

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Experts and health officials continue to stress the importance of education as a primary weapon in the fight against drug overdoses.

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