Opioid task force working to curb overdoses in Philly

 Opioid Task Force meets in Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

Opioid Task Force meets in Philadelphia. (Tom MacDonald/WHYY)

A new task force set up in Philadelphia is designed to find ways to cut the number of overdose deaths in the city.

About 900 died in Philadelphia of drug overdoses in 2016, with heroin being the top killer. Mayor Jim Kenney said this task force is charged with finding ways to save people from themselves and the scourge of drugs.”I’ve been watching this heroin addiction since growing up in South Philly in the ’60s and ’70s,” he said. “There were a lot less people addicted to it. You knew who they were and you knew what their problems were, and many of them didn’t make it.”Taking part  in the effort, Dr. Jeff Hom said those who died are far from the only addicts in the city.”About 14,000 have been treated for dependence in our publicly funded system,” he said. “Still, that is only a fraction of the tens of thousands of people who are using heroin or may be misusing or abusing prescription painkillers.”A report is due from the task force within three months.

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