Attorney General Shapiro Holds Round Table with Erie County Lead - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Attorney General Shapiro Holds Round Table with Erie County Leaders

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President Donald Trump called the opioid crisis a national emergency Wednesday, saying the federal government will put time, money and effort into fighting it. 

"Opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999, it is a problem the likes we have not seen," said President Donald Trump. 

At the state level, Attorney General Josh Shapiro held a round table with Erie County leaders to collaborate on how to fight it.

"Sharing information so that we can get the people, especially those who are non-violent, not-dealing, those suffering the disease of addiction, get them into the treatment they need," said General Shapiro.        

General Shapiro said in Pennsylvania alone, we lost 13 people per day from opioid overdoses in 2016 . Over one thousand were revived from Naloxone, or Narcan, or the numbers would have been even worse. 

"This community has been  leading the state and really the country, in the use of Naloxone, which is saving lots of lives, then hopefully we can get that person into treatment and they then can go on and live a healthy life," said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

Dahlkemper was satisfied after the round table, hopeful that Erie County can receive more beds to help the addicted.

Although the numbers have gone up for overdoses already in 2017, the Attorney General said all efforts are focused on getting them down.

"Dealing with it in a mulch-disciplinary way. Arresting the dealers, locking up the doctors who are diverting legal prescription drugs for illegal uses, conducting an investigation into the opioid manufacturing industry, there's a lot of work we're doing together on this," said General Shapiro.

Also discussed at the round table, was the connection between guns and other weapons with opioids and how the Attorney General's office is working on combating those problems.

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