Pennsylvania overdose deaths jump 23 percent over past year

- There has been a huge increase in drug overdose deaths in Pennsylvania.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, there were 2,742 overdose deaths in 2014. Then, the number skyrocketed 23.4 percent to 3,383 last year.

The DEA collected that information from coroners' reports.

In different terms, in 2014, Pennsylvania one of the top 10 states per capita with 21 per 100,000 people dying of an overdose. Last year, that number increased to 26 per 100,000 people.

Nearly 55 percent of the state's overdose victims were found to have heroin in their system.

Fentanyl also emerged as a prominent opioid used by those killed by overdoses. Fentanyl-related deaths spiked 93 percent.

According to Gary Tuggle, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Philadelphia Division, “It is imperative that law enforcement, healthcare and treatment professionals, elected officials, and community groups work together to address the factors impacting availability, use, and abuse of these drugs.”

The five counties with the highest per capita rates of drug-related overdose deaths were Philadelphia, followed by Armstrong, Cambria, Indiana and Greene.

Click here to see the full DEA report.

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