• Allegheny County reports over 40% drop in overdose deaths in 2018

    Updated:

    PITTSBURGH - Officials with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said overdose deaths have dropped 41% in 2018 from the previous year.

    The agency said that as of Tuesday, there were 432 accidental overdose deaths with just a handful of cases remaining to be cleared. That number, the office said, is down from 737 the year before.

    Here is a breakdown of data from the medical examiner's office about the overdose deaths in 2018:

    • 68% of victims were men
    • 94% of victims were white
    • victims came from three age groups: 35-44, 25-34 or 45-54
    • deaths were almost always caused by a mixture of drugs
    • Fentanyl most common drug found
    • Cocaine and heroin other common drugs found

    Officials with Allegheny County said in 2018, the health department distributed over 8,000 naloxone kits and trained over 2,000 people. Additionally, the health department focused on harm reduction for drug users by supporting syringe exchanges, addressing an increase in Hepatitis C and doing more outreach.

    It is not clear if Allegheny County will continue seeing a downward trend in overdose deaths for 2019.


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