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Opioid Task Force Working to Curb Drug Overdoses in Philly

Opioid Task Force meeting in Philadelphia (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)
By TOM MACDONALD

A new task force set up in Philadelphia is designed to find ways to cut the number of overdose deaths in the city.About 900 died in Philadelphia due to drug overdoses in 2016, with heroin being the top killer. Mayor Jim Kenney says this task force is charged with finding ways to save people from themselves and the scourge of drugs.”I’ve been watching this heroin addiction since growing up in South Philly in the 60s and 70s. There were a lot less people addicted to it. You knew who they were and you knew what their problems were and many of them didn’t make it.”

Dr. Jeff Hom is a part of the effort and says those who died are far from the only addicts in the city.

“About 14 thousand have been treated for dependence in our publically funded system, still that is only a fraction of the tens of thousands of people who are using heroin or may be misusing or abusing prescritpion pain-killers.”

A report is due from the task force within three months.