PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Gov. Tom Wolf, speaking at a legislative reception Thursday night in Pittsburgh, said Pennsylvania has taken the lead in confronting the heroin-opioid epidemic and recognizing the problem as a disease.
The governor said there were 2,500 fatal drug overdoses in 2014 and 2,500 in 2015. And while the final numbers aren’t in yet, he expects at least 4,500 drug deaths in 2016.
To help combat the problem, Gov. Wolf credited the opening of dozens of new treatment centers around the state, thanks, in part, to a nearly $5.5 million federal grant.
On the eve of the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, there’s a lot of uncertainty about future federal funding.
Gov. Wolf said, “We have not yet turned the corner regarding the drug epidemic.”
Hours before the governor spoke, a few miles away, in Wilkinsburg, detectives arrested a man during a routine traffic stop.
Police said Aaron Tipton was stopped in the 700-block of Hill Avenue, and when he was patted down, they found more than 500 stamp bags of heroin down the front of his pants.
The drugs have a street value of between $3,000 to $4,000.