STATE OF EMERGENCY: Searching for Solutions to Pennsylvania’s Opioids Crisis

  • Jun 21, 2018

OpioidCrisisLogo America is in the midst of the deadliest drug epidemic in its history and the Keystone State is at its epicenter. In 2016, more than 2,200 Pennsylvanians died of opioid overdoses, the fourth highest rate in the nation, according to the CDC.

Our newsrooms have been documenting the epidemic’s soaring numbers for close to two decades. Now, a special project marshalling our combined strength is focusing on what citizens around the state are doing to help to reverse this most deadly trend.

“State of Emergency” is a joint coverage project sponsored by PSNE, PAPME, the Associated Press and PNA.

More than 40 newsrooms have contributed stories, photos and videos from 50-plus counties on what’s working in the fight against this public health crisis. They range from the Daily Item’s story of an addict’s poignant obituary that went viral, to WPSU’s look at recovery resources at Penn State, to a Lebanon Daily News story about drug dogs for hire. We share Beaver County’s open records editorial calling for data from the coroner’s office. And the Philadelphia Inquirer visits a Temple journ class on covering the epidemic.

The response from big, medium and small newsrooms across the state was unprecedented and we thank you all for your enthusiasm and support.

AP Philadelphia is organizing and transmitting the project’s material beginning this week in advance of the run date. Not an AP member and still want to participate? Contact Cate Barron at by June 27 for a copy of the story budget organized by county and to order this free content.

These are stories of community support, outreach, care and prevention.

All are about hope.

We hope you’ll join us in spreading the word.

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