Thomas Farley, Philadelphia’s health commissioner, said the new state-level data suggest that Pennsylvania’s opioid crisis is no longer confined to urban areas.
“We’ve always had a bigger heroin problem than the rest of the state,” he said. “What I’m struck by is how much of a problem we have in the rural areas that were previously untouched by this. The opioid crisis is raging through Pennsylvania like the wildfires are raging through California.”
He said the rise in fentanyl-related overdoses was particularly concerning.
“That’s the top drug here — and it’s 50 times as potent as heroin, much more likely to get people addicted, much more likely to cause an overdose,” he said. “It’s changed the entire nature of the problem.”
By Aubrey Whelan