Montco Drug Deaths Show Slight Drop in 1st Half of 2017

The numbers are sobering but perhaps encouraging at the same time.

The Montgomery County Drug Task Force Tuesday announced there were 111 accidental drug related death between January and June of this year, five fewer than the first half of 2016. While fatalities resulting from overdoses on heroin and prescription opioids are down, the decrease has been offset by a spike in deaths caused by synthetic opioids like Fentanyl. County Commissioner Chair Val Arkoosh said anyone that buys heroin on the street is playing Russian roulette.

“Because you may have heroin, plain heroin, you have heroin laced with Fentanyl. Some unknown amount of Fentanyl. You may heroin laced with carfentanil. You may have pure Fentanyl, which is almost certainly going to kill you.”

Pottstown area resident Steve Harris talked about his own battle with heroin and described what happened the first time his life was saved by the overdose antidote Naloxone.

“The very next day I picked up and started using again and I went back and bought the same drug from the same guy. I couldn’t believe I was doing it, often times I felt like I was a spectator in my own life, I didn’t have control over myself.”

Harris overdosed multiple times but has been clean for the past seven months.