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Philadelphia creates dedicated overdose response unit

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 22, 2017 11:27 AM
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In this May 13, 2015 photo, the contents of a drug overdose rescue kit is seen at a training session in Buffalo, N.Y., on how to administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. The kits are being provided to community members in Erie County who seek training in how to recognize a potential drug overdose and administer naloxone, which reverses the effects of heroin and prescription painkillers. New York and other states have been equipping lay people, as well first responders and families of addicts, with naloxone in an effort to increase the chances it will be there when needed. (AP Photo/Carolyn Thompson)


(Philadelphia) -- Philadelphia is creating a dedicated overdose response unit that will work alongside medics in sections of the city hit hardest by drugs.

WCAU-TV reports that the unit will be run by the fire department and will include medics, social workers and certified recovery specialists. They will help drug users get access to treatment and provide education about drug use.

The program is expected to launch by mid-summer and focus on the Kensington and Fairhill neighborhoods.

The city's managing director, Michael DiBerardinis, says the unit is part of the city's continuing efforts to revitalize the area, including the cleanup this year of an open-air heroin market that ran along a half-mile stretch of train tracks.

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