Editor’s Note: The following announcement was provided to BeaverCountian.com by Congressman Chris Deluzio’s office. It is being published here in full as submitted.
This week, Congressman Chris Deluzio (PA-17) joined the bipartisan Fentanyl Prevention Caucus. Consisting of equal number of Representatives from both parties, this bipartisan group comes together to combat the nationwide spike in fentanyl-related overdoses and drug poisonings. Led by Congressmembers Joe Neguse, Madeleine Dean, Darrell Issa, and Ken Calvert, the Caucus meets with prevention and awareness groups, as well federal and local law enforcement, to continually monitor, research, and work to address the threat of fentanyl.
“Fatal overdoses from fentanyl have destroyed the lives, dreams, and loved ones of so many in Western Pennsylvania,” said Congressman Deluzio. “And unfortunately, in our community and across the country, the death toll keeps rising. Congress must tackle fentanyl abuse like the public health crisis that it is—fighting from all angles to keep this deadly drug out of our communities, address root issues, support addiction services and recovery, and save lives.”
Deaths from opioids are not limited to specific geographic, demographic, and socioeconomic boundaries. They require coordinated efforts like those this caucus is spearheading and at the state and local level to comprehensively take on this crisis.
In Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional District, the morbidity rate from opioid overdoses consistently exceeds the national average. Statewide, Allegheny and Beaver counties rank among the highest areas in Pennsylvania for fatal overdoses and drug poisonings. In both counties, fentanyl has exponentially become the most frequently reported drug category in drug related overdose decedents. According to the most recent year’s data from the University of Pittsburgh’s Overdose Free PA, fentanyl was present in 70% of overdose deaths.