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Pa. substance abuse cases at an all-time high

abc27 News
abc27 News
 2021-12-17

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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM) — Pennsylvania continues to see alarming trends.

“More people are becoming addicted to more types of substances and more people are dying because of it than ever before,” said Dr. Dale Klatzker, Gaudenzia CEO.

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The latest findings by Gaudenzia, a major nonprofit addiction treatment provider, show things are only getting worse. While opioid use is slightly down, the rates of overall substance use are up —significantly.  Lancaster County saw a 21 percent jump in stimulant use disorder diagnoses —  one of only three Pennsylvania counties to make such a significant leap. Gaudenzia says simply put — what’s being done right now isn’t cutting it.

“It’s not being treated as a public health crisis. We don’t have the same resources, the same energy, the same commitment that we treat cancer or heart disease or even covid,” Dr. Dale Klatzker said.

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They say Covid has only been made things worse.

“That disrupted the supply chain of drugs as well. So methamphetamine, other things can be made cheaply and can be made locally. Literally in your apartment,” he added.

This includes alcohol, with Pennsylvania reporting record sales in the last year. So Gaudenzia is using this data to align its efforts and resources to tackle the crisis head-on.

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