Heroin crisis: Drug overdoses outnumber homicides in Philadelphia

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DA Seth Williams testifies at a City Council hearing (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

DA Seth Williams testifies at a City Council hearing (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Drug overdoses are killing more people in Philadelphia than homicides.   City Council held a hearing on heroin and other drugs pushing that trend.

Philadelphia is a prime place for cheap, high purity heroin and other synthetic impostors.

City Councilman Al Taubenberger says overdoses killed 700 people last year in Philadelphia. “Almost 35 percent of the people who died from drugs in Philadelphia had heroin in their system.”

Gary Tennis, Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol programs says about one thousand people each week in America die from drugs.

“if we had ISIS terrorists roaming the streets killing 1000 Americans a week we wouldn’t tolerate it for a minute.  If it was ebola or some exotic disease but because of the stigma around this disease we continue with policies federally state and local that are fundamentally inhumane,” he said.

Pennsylvania has expanded the Medicaid program which provides treatment to help people beat addictions, if they seek it.

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