The Problem

Controlled prescription drugs, heroin and fentanylopioids text

The abuse of prescription medication has been a serious issue across the country for a while. But now, unfortunately, users are turning to the cheaper and more potent opioids heroin and fentanyl to get high.

Nationwide, among new heroin users, 75 percent report having abused prescription opioids before using heroin.1

The opioid epidemic has hit Philadelphia hard. From 2003 to 2016, the number of opioid-related overdoses in the city skyrocketed from 211 deaths to 752 deaths. In addition, more than 80 percent of total drug overdoses in 2016 were due to opioids.2


 Heroin Overdose Data. Center of Disease Control and Prevention. Source: https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/data/heroin.html

"Opioid Surveillance." Philadelphia Department of Public Health: Health Information Portal. https://hip.phila.gov/Portals/_default/HIP/DataReports/Opioid/2018/Q1/OpioidMisuseOverdoseReport_Quarter1_2018_04102018.pdf

Drug-Related Overdoses

The number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide has been steadily increasing since 2002, according to numbers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse.