IN FOCUS: Mayor Kenney’s Task Force To Combat The Opioid Epidemic

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Opioid addiction is an epidemic taking over the Philadelphia area. We take a closer look at Mayor Kenney’s Task Force and the resources available to those affected.

We look at the charge and mission of Mayor Jim Kenney’s Task Force to fight this epidemic. The crisis now claims the lives of more than 28,000 Americans each year. Philadelphia is projected to have 900 drug overdose deaths in 2016. This is up from 702 in 2015, and three times the number of homicides. Drug overdoses have become a leading cause of death in the city. In addition, experts say eighty-percent of overdose death involve opioids. In Philadelphia opioid sales quadrupled between 2000 and 2015.

Jennifer’s guest include the Task Force co-chairs, who are both City Commissioners. Arthur C. Evans, Jr. joins Jennifer. Mr. Evans is from the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disability Services. And, Dr. Thomas Farley who is also a guest on the show, is from the Department of Public Health. A multitude of aspects are discussed involving this very important topic including the goals of the task force, addiction and prescription drugs, resources available to the public and the timeline for the Task Force’s findings and recommendations for action to be presented to the Mayor at the end of April. “In Focus” airs Saturday mornings at 6:30 and 11:30 on PHL17.