Cambria County Coroner Jeff Lees saying Wednesday that the County is on pace to potentially see a record number of overdose deaths this year. This comes despite a lot of aid meant to combat this. Lees says the work of First Responders has been commendable to save lives, but the fact that the County is still on pace to break a record amount of overdose deaths shows just how unmanageable the drug situation is in Cambria County and beyond.
Lees said his Office has already confirmed 73 deaths to overdose in 2022, with more than 20 others pending toxicology reports, the County’s record of 94 overdose deaths from 2016 staring them in the face. That comes despite efforts to curb that trend since 2016, like providing First Responders with the overdose-reversal drug Narcan. But Fentanyl is still a major factor and another drug is coming back into vogue, Cocaine. The problem is many other drugs are being laced with Fentanyl and it takes so little to be fatal.
Lees says Advocacy and Awareness Campaigns will continue as First Responders do all they can to limit the damage. Lees saying: “They’re being pushed to the limits at times, a lot of the time, and they’re doing a hell of a job out there, Fire, Police, EMS, I hear them going out constantly and they need to be commended for the number of lives they are saving that don’t come through this Office.”
New data published on Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that more than 107,000 people died of a drug overdose in the 12-month period ending in July. While slightly below the record pace set in March, it’s 25% higher than they were two years earlier.