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Centre County DA Reports 'Very Concerning' Increase in Drug Overdoses, Including 3 Deaths

by on September 04, 2020 4:03 PM

Centre County District Attorney Bernie Cantorna on Friday said the county has seen a "very concerning" increase in drug overdoses and deaths over the past month.

Bellefonte, Ferguson Township, Patton Township, State College and state police have responded to at least 11 overdose dose calls during that time. Since Aug. 22, three overdoses have resulted in death.

“We are seeing a very concerning trend in regards to overdoses and deaths this past four weeks,” Cantorna said in a statement.

Fentanyl-laced drugs are suspected to be responsible for the increase in overdoses, Cantorna said. While the majority of calls have been heroin-related, Cantorna said law enforcement believe other drugs being sold in the area, such as cocaine, may also be laced with fentanyl.

“This poses a serious health risk to our community and it is important that we be vigilant in regards to loved ones who are struggling with addiction,” Cantorna said.

He urged anyone who knows someone with a substance use disorder to have naloxone readily available. Naloxone, commonly known by the brand name Narcan, is used to block the effects of opioids and can be life-saving when administered during an overdose. Pennsylvania has a standing order prescription that allows pharmacies to dispense naloxone to anyone at risk of experience and opioid overdose or family and friends who may be in a position to assist them.

For services and help, the Centre County Drug and Alcohol office is available at (814) 355-6744. 

Cantorna asked anyone with information about drug activity in their neighborhood to contact their local police agency or make a confidential tip to the Centre County Drug Task Force at 1-877-898-3784.

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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