Heroin task force to speak at York College

Sean Philip Cotter

The York County Heroin Task Force will hold a public meeting next week at York College.

Heroin epidemic

The town hall-style gathering will be at 7 p.m., Monday, Sept. 19, at York College’s Evelyn and Earl Wolf Hall. The event is free.

Created in 2014, the task force is a multidisciplinary group composed of law enforcement, the health care community, county government, state government, municipalities and more. The group’s primary focus is on heroin use prevention and education.

York County has been particularly hard hit by the nation's heroin crisis.

According to the recently released Pennsylvania State Coroners Association Report on Overdose Death Statistics, 64 of the 120 drug-related deaths in York County in 2014 were from heroin overdoses, or 53 percent. In 2015, 65 of the 99 drug-related deaths were heroin related, or 66 percent.

York County is on track to have the same number of heroin-related deaths in 2016, York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

In 2015, October had the most heroin overdoses, and in 2014, December led the pack. So far this year, Gay said, July has the most overdose deaths, with 11 suspected heroin overdoses, but that number could change. She said the number of overdose deaths varies based on the supply and type of heroin available.

At next week's meeting, Gay, Chief Deputy Coroner Claude Stabley, Assistant District Attorney Dave Sunday and other representatives from the task force will discuss the heroin epidemic in York County.  A question-and-answer period will follow the presentation. Local organizations that provide addiction services will have information tables at the event.

— Sean Cotter covers York City for The York Dispatch. Contact him atscotter@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at@SPCotterYD.