Drug overdose deaths in Philadelphia are at historic levels, driven by growing opioid misuse and opioid use disorder. In 2017, some 1,217 people in the city died of overdoses—almost twice the number from only three years earlier. And more than 80 percent of Philadelphia’s overdose deaths in 2016 involved opioids.
Pew’s local work on this pressing issue includes research on the demographics of the problem, comparisons with other cities and counties, and analysis of available treatment options, including medication-assisted treatment. In addition, Pew has convened policymakers, health care providers, and other stakeholders from Philadelphia and elsewhere to discuss innovative responses being undertaken locally and in other jurisdictions.