News

Drug-related deaths in York County go up for 2016

Written by Teresa Boeckel/York Daily Record | Mar 7, 2017 3:16 PM
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York County Coroner Pam Gay has worked with a task force to address the heroin epidemic. Her office is dealing this week with a sudden uptick in overdoses. (Photo: File, York Daily Record)

(York) -- In the last two months, 30 suspected heroin-related deaths have been reported in York County, according to the county Coroner's Office.

If that trend continues, the county would have 180 deaths by the end of the year, coroner Pam Gay said.

The news comes as the coroner's office released its final numbers for 2016 deaths via a series of tweets. Gay had issued a report last month but noted that her office was still waiting for toxicology results in a few cases.

Drugs were among the top causes of death last year, and drug-related deaths have been on the rise.

The coroner reports these final numbers for 2016:

  • 123 drug deaths
  • 116 involved opioids, which includes heroin and prescription drugs, such as Oxycodone and Hydrocodone
  • 76 were heroin-related

Heroin-related can mean heroin or fentanyl alone, together or in combination with other prescription drugs, illicit drugs or alcohol.

The coroner also in a tweet that law enforcement officers saved 232 lives last year by administering naloxone. The number of deaths likely would have been higher without those life-saving efforts, she said.

Gay said she is saddened by the drug deaths but is not surprised.

The county's Heroin Task Force will be announcing a new initiative in coming weeks, Gay said. The task force helps to educate the public about the dangers of drugs.

"We're just going to keep fighting the fight -- all of us," she said.

The York County Coroner's report shows the top causes of death to be heart disease, drug-related deaths, at home/play deaths and suicide. Sean Heisey, York Daily Record

 

This story is part of a partnership between WITF and the York Daily Record.

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