Smart Talk: Overdose deaths rise significantly during pandemic

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While the world watches COVID ravage communities and families, another epidemic is taking its toll unabated.

The disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to people’s lives has hit those with substance abuse disorders particularly hard, leading to a significant increase in opioid overdose deaths.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over eighty-one thousand overdose deaths occurred in the US in the 12 months ending in May 2020. This is the highest number ever recorded in one year.

Joining Smart Talk Friday to discuss the impact in Pennsylvania are Jennifer Smith, Pennsylvania Secretary of Drug and Alcohol Programs and the York County Coroner Pam Gay.

For treatment help, call 1-800-662-HELP

Pharmacists an essential part of vaccine distribution

As COVID-19 vaccines begin to trickle into communities and hospitals around the state it is clear that pharmacies will play an instrumental role administering the shots.

Independent and chain pharmacies are an important health resource for Americans so it makes sense they would be a crucial component to vaccine distribution, too.

Appearing on Smart Talk to underscore the role played by community pharmacies are Erik Hefti, PharmD, Ph.D., Executive Director and Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, along with Chuck Kray, R.Ph., President of the Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association and a pharmacist with the Hershey Pharmacy.

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