Addiction Statistics and the Opioid Crisis in Philadelphia

Every part of the United States has felt the lasting effects of drug addiction, including in the one-time nation’s capital of Philadelphia. This city, which serves as a central point of interest for both the people of eastern Pennsylvania and western New Jersey, is known for many things. From the Liberty Bell and the Declaration of Independence to Philly cheesesteaks and the Rocky steps, Philadelphia is filled with rich culture. Unfortunately, as with most major cities in the country, addiction statistics in Philadelphia have continued to rise, prompting more attention to this pressing public health issue.

In the streets of Philadelphia, it is not uncommon to see people abusing drugs like opioids, cocaine, crack, and marijuana. Many residents of the City of Brotherly Love often find used up needles on the streets and trash from drug paraphernalia littering parks and community spaces. That is because rates of drug abuse in Philadelphia keep increasing slowly but surely. Sadly, that means that more residents of the city and surrounding areas are facing significant challenges in their lives, if not succumbing to their addiction via overdose. 

Unintentional Overdoses Claim the Lives of More Than 1,000 Philadelphia Residents a Year

Overdoses occur in all corners of the country, and lately they have been occurring at astronomical rates. Recent data shows that more than 90,000 Americans died in 2020 alone of overdoses. This served as an alarming 30% increase in overdose deaths in just one single year, a percentage not even close to ever having been reached before. In Philadelphia, specific addiction statistics read that 1,150 citizens died from overdoses in 2019. By 2020, approximately 1,214 citizens lost their lives to overdose. 

Looking at the breakdown of overdoses in Philadelphia in 2020, we see that 1,041 of the 1,214 people who died of an overdose died from an overdose involving opioids. The majority of those who died of an overdose involving opioids in Philadelphia also had stimulants in their systems at the times of their deaths. Stimulants, which are substances that produce stimulating effects, include common drugs such as cocaine, crack, meth, and Adderall. When stimulants are combined with opioids, dangerous interactions occur in the body because opioids do the opposite of what stimulants do — they slow down the body and its processes. This is one of the main reasons why so many individuals in the Philadelphia area have overdosed either intentionally or unintentionally. 

Addiction Statistics Show That More Than Three-Quarters of Overdoses in Philadelphia Involved Fentanyl 

There is no doubt that there are several types of drug being abused across Philadelphia, however opioids reign supreme — and by far. Not only did all overdoses in 2020 include some type of opioids, but more than three-quarters of overdoses in the city involved fentanyl. 

Fentanyl is an opioid medication that is most frequently prescribed to help treat severe physical pain. It is also used to help treat patients who are in palliative care. Unfortunately, however, fentanyl has made its way into the streets over the years and has been linked to countless deaths. One of the reasons for that is because it is 100 times more potent than meth. Consuming merely 2 mg of fentanyl can prove lethal. But, despite its dangers, it is still being mass produced and distributed on the streets and laced into most street drugs. This is one reason why so many people have unintentionally overdosed, as they were unaware that the drugs they were consuming contained fentanyl. A whopping 81% of opioid overdoses in Philadelphia involved fentanyl in 2020. 

How Philadelphia is Fighting Back Against Addiction

The city of Philadelphia is focusing its efforts on ways to help mitigate the level of addiction and overdoses that are impacting their citizens. They are doing this by focusing on four strategies:

  1. Community Support
  2. Prevention
  3. Public Safety 
  4. Treatment

Within each one of these strategies are a number of different tactics that the city has put in place to help bring down the excessively high addiction statistics in Philadelphia. Some of tactics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Programming to increase employment opportunities
  • Target city services in specific parts of the city
  • Launch fentanyl awareness campaign
  • Increase education about buprenorphine to providers
  • Increase behavioral health crisis response
  • Increase medication-assisted treatment program inductions
  • Ensure equitable and quality treatment services

To learn more about the specifics of what the city of Philadelphia is doing to address this growing problem, click here

Drug Rehab in Philadelphia, PA

We understand the challenges that you are facing as a result of your drug addiction. We also know that making it through these challenges requires more than just a helping hand. At Wave Treatment Centers, our team of professionals and specialists work directly with you to help you overcome your active addiction and begin building a solid recovery. With your dedication and effort, you can achieve a happy, healthy life that is free of substance abuse and filled with opportunity.

If you are ready to get the help you need and deserve, reach out to Wave Treatment Centers right now.

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