Heroin overdose deaths have spiked yet again in York County
Ben Allen, General Assignment Reporter | 03.29.17
Photo by AP Photo/Elaine Thompson
In this Feb. 16, 2017, photo, a discarded syringe sits in the dirt with other debris under a highway overpass where drug users are known to congregate in Everett, Wash.
(Harrisburg) -- York County is getting hit with another wave of overdose deaths.
The news comes more than three years into a crisis that has already killed thousands of Pennsylvanians.
Last year, 76 people died from a heroin-related overdose in York County.
Just about three months into 2017, heroin and fentanyl are suspected in 41 overdose deaths.
Those numbers come from York County Coroner Pam Gay, who says she's waiting on some toxicology reports to officially confirm the 41 deaths from opioids so far in 2017.
Gay, who has been very vocal about the epidemic, says the trend is disheartening.
"You wonder when will we ever see a reversal? It feels like it's far away. But at the same time, it doesn't mean that we stop the fight. We continue our efforts here in York with our opioid collaborative," says Gay.
She adds: "The more we're seeing things pick up, we're starting to feel that that decline in overdose deaths might be further away than we originally had hoped."
Gay says some of those who overdosed and died were in their 40s and 50s, which got her attention.
York County has developed one of the most robust responses to the crisis, with its opioid collaborative, which evolved out of a task force it formed in 2014.
Two other midstate coroners contacted for this story didn't respond or didn't have information available about overdoses so far this year.