2:53 PM / Saturday September 18, 2021

23 Jul 2021

Pennsylvania’s overdose deaths rose in 2020, US agency says

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
July 23, 2021 Category: Stateside Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: A protester holds signs in support of a supervised injection sites in Philadelphia. On Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021, a divided appeals court rejected a plan to open a supervised injection site in Philadelphia to try to reduce overdose deaths, concluding the operation would violate a 1980s-era drug law aimed at “crackhouses.” (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


HARRISBURG, Pa.  — Overdose deaths in Pennsylvania grew along with the national rate last year during the pandemic, according to new federal estimates.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 5,172 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania last year, a jump of 16% from 4,444 in 2019. Nationally, the agency’s estimate of over 93,000 was a 29% increase.

The COVID-19 pandemic contributed to the overdose epidemic, as lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions isolated those with drug addictions and made treatment harder to get, experts said.

The federal agency reviewed death certificates to come up with the estimate for 2020 drug overdose deaths.


Pennsylvania’s 2020 estimate for overdose deaths is still lower than the almost 5,400 overdose deaths the federal agency reported in 2017, or nearly double the amount reported in 2014.

However, last year’s increase interrupted what had been a decline, as Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration took steps to stem the flow of pharmaceutical opioids and get the overdose antidote naloxone into the hands of police, emergency-room personnel, ambulance crews and more.

In the meantime, coroners, law enforcement and state officials have reported that methamphetamine and cocaine use are on the rise while prescription drug and heroin deaths were leveling off.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News


Commentary: The right to vote is sacred, and must be protected

September 17, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email By Philadelphia City Commissioner Omar Sabir Philadelphia’s elections are simple, safe, and secure,...

Week In Review

Ex-prosecutor indicted for misconduct in Ahmaud Arbery death

September 10, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Marcus Arbery, Sr., father of Ahmaud Arbery, carries a portrait of...


California Gov. Gavin Newsom beats back GOP-led recall

September 15, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email By KATHLEEN RONAYNE and MICHAEL R. BLOOD SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov....


Biden moves to declassify documents about Sept. 11 attacks

September 10, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: President Joe Biden speaks from the State Dining Room of the...


Young Africans struggle with jobs, education amid pandemic

September 10, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email By Farai Mutsaka and Andrew Meldrum ASSOCIATED PRESS HARARE, Zimbabwe — The future...


A Bird Bath

September 13, 2021

Tweet Share Pin Email In Sunday’s Battle of the Birds, The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Atlanta Falcons...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff