July 20 – 21, 2018 Overdose Cluster 2

“We don’t want to make a definite confirmation until we know more,” said James Garrow, spokesman for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

Garrow stated the heroin tested by the Willow Grove lab came from an independent purchase, not from an overdose victim, and that the samples were sold outside city limits, and not near where the bulk of the overdoses occurred in Philadelphia’s Kensington neighborhood.

“That said, the reactions that victims displayed upon being revived is consistent with the synthetic cannabinoid being present. We don’t want to make a definite confirmation until we know more,” Garrow wrote in an email.


By Aubrey Whelan

Heat Islands Within Philadelphia

In the last 10 years, there have been 104 heat-related deaths in Philadelphia, according to the Department of Public Health, the most recent one occurring this month. But according to James Garrow, a spokesman for the Health Department, “deaths that are considered heat-related are the product of … investigation and pathologist examination and are not simply yes-or-no heat-related definition,” so that definition varies.


By Catalina Jaramillo