With increase in polysubstance use, state agency will ‘expand’ focus from opioid epidemic

BY: - October 18, 2021

The new approach, announced Monday by Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs Secretary Jen Smith, will “expand” the agency's focus to address “the increase of polysubstance and stimulant use across the commonwealth.”

As the pandemic raged, so did drug overdose deaths | The Numbers Racket

BY: - June 7, 2021

Largely overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, drug overdose deaths climbed by more than 20,000 from 2019 to 2020. 

Pa. opioid deaths increased during COVID-19 pandemic, officials say

BY: - April 29, 2021

Pennsylvania recorded 4,880 opioid deaths in 2020, an increase of 422 deaths from the 2019 tally of 4,458. The increase offsets the progress the Wolf administration’s Opioid Operational Command Center had made between 2018 and 2020, which saw a 20 percent decrease in opioid deaths. 

COVID-19 pandemic contributes to increase in overdose deaths, state health officials say

BY: - December 8, 2020

Since the creation of the Opioid Command Center in January 2018 during the height of the opioid crisis, drug overdose-related deaths have fallen by nearly 20 percent in Pennsylvania, according to Barishansky. However, the trend has been flatlining since the middle of last year, continuing into 2020 and coinciding with the spread of COVID-19  -- data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that overdose deaths increased by nearly 6 percent from April 2019 to April 2020.