The opioid epidemic continues to hit Pennsylvania extraordinarily hard. It is a problem that, to date, has taken friends and family members from a huge number of people throughout the Commonwealth, and that has affected the lives of nearly every Pennsylvanian.
Recent news indicates that there is no sign of this problem going away. In fact, things seem as bad as they have ever been.
A new peak
ABC Channel 27 News reports that overdose deaths have once again reached similar levels to 2017. Until now, that was the peak of the epidemic.
An official response
The state government is suggesting that people call helplines. Representatives are urging people to keep anti-overdose medication on hand. Meanwhile, some county morgues are considering expanding their refrigerated retention facilities to deal with this specific health crisis.
A deeper problem
Although other news items may have eclipsed the epidemic of opioid abuse sweeping Pennsylvania, the problem is still growing. In fact, some believe the lack of information and connection is driving the trend.
Many people who once had access to the resources, community and hope they needed to continue their recovery now find themselves jobless, in isolation or facing great personal loss. This, in turn, could have led to the increase in recidivism, relapse, poisoning and drug-related death that is sweeping the state.
An unwelcome complication
Many people suffering from addiction also find themselves with an additional challenge: criminal charges. Although Pennsylvania places a high priority on rehabilitation, some cases might not be receiving the attention they deserve from the system during this time of crisis. It might fall to them — that is, the people facing charges during what might be the hardest times of their lives — to protect their own rights.