If you pick up a newspaper these days, you can hardly avoid seeing an article about opioid abuse and drug addiction. Sadly, Pennsylvania has seen a sharp rise in fatal drug overdoses in recent years, part of a nationwide trend. In Pennsylvania, the hardest hit areas are rural counties where addiction to prescription drugs has led to abuse, and in the city of Philadelphia which has the highest rate of fatal overdoses per 100,000 people. The statistics available from 2015 show that more than 3,500 people passed away from a drug overdose, up from nearly 2,400 just the year before that. This is more than a 33 percent increase in a year.
The increase in accidental drug overdoses stems from the rise in use of heroin and cocaine, and doctors overprescribing opioids like fentanyl and oxycodone. Overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death in the commonwealth, and Pennsylvania leads the nation in fatal overdoses in young men. The depth of the problem even led Josh Shapiro, candidate for state attorney general, to make it part of his campaign platform, dedicating an entire page of his website to opioid addiction.
Compare those facts with car crash statistics, which are going down. The PennDOT definition of a crash describes there being an injury or fatality resulting from the incident and/or one of the vehicles involved needing to be towed away. In 2014 PennDOT reported 1,195 fatalities from motor vehicles crashes—half the number of fatal overdoses. In fact, the year 2011 was the first year of a trend where fatalities from drug overdose surpassed the fatalities in car accidents. Nationwide this is also the case in 36 states – a disturbing rise across America. In vivid contrast to this trend are the reportable traffic crashes statistics for 2014 which were the fourth lowest total since 1950.
Chester County Personal Injury Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Defend Injured Parties
If you or someone you love has suffered grave personal injuries or fatality due to the negligence of another party, the experienced Philadelphia personal injury lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC will fight to secure you the maximum compensation allowable by law. Do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 215-569-8488 for your free consultation. Our main offices are located in Philadelphia and Wilmington, Delaware.