Westmoreland County overdose deaths decreased till the pandemic hit, says Coroner – CBS Pittsburgh

GREENSBURG, PA (KDKA) – Westmoreland County has seen the number of overdose deaths rise. Officials say the county was making progress towards the pandemic.

When it comes to Westmoreland County and the epidemic of overdose deaths, things looked good. 193 people were killed in 2017.

Ken Bacha, coroner in Westmoreland County, told KDKA: “In 2019 we fell back to 115. At the beginning of 2020, in the first quarter, the numbers were still falling and then, bam, COVID hits. ”

And Bacha says it’s badly hit.

“We still have a few pending cases, but if we count those pending, likely overdoses, we will likely go back to 121. We are just on the right track for that,” he says.

But as he has repeatedly done in the past, Bacha emphasizes that these are not numbers, but people.

“It’s going to be very personal. It’s no longer about statics, ”he says.

Licensed Professional Counselor Christina Rife says this is never a good time to be in a life and death battle with addiction, but “when it comes to sobering up and recovering, it changes your people, places, and people Things. Well now everything has changed. ”

Rife adds, “In general, I think the biggest component would be isolation. It is already a disease of isolation, of hopelessness. “

What can be done Rife says it depends on where the person is on their recovery journey, but both Rife and Bacha say that one thing that can be done by those who love someone who is addicted is just there.

Resources can be found on the Westmoreland Drug and Alcohol Commission website.

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