News Digest 2/3/17

This short piece from Newsworks.org covers parts of Mayor Jim Kenney’s speech given to the Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce yesterday. In his speech, he told those in attendance that he will ask city council to allocate more funds to treatment services for opioid and heroin addiction.

Philadelphia is currently facing an epidemic of opioid-related overdoses, with 900 people dying from overdoses in the city last year according to Kenney’s speech. The story also states that Governor Tom Wolf recently made a $10 million budget request to provide Naxalone, a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose, to first-responders statewide.

While the piece is mostly just a recap of some of the highlights of Mayor Kenney’s speech, the fact that the article led with the mayor’s statements on expanding treatment services shows how serious of an issue the opioid epidemic is in Philadelphia. The fact that Governor Wolf recently made a large budget request to reduce the number of overdose-related deaths confirms this.

Furthermore, I think for my beat, which is primarily focused on drugs and addiction in the city, talking to organizations and public officials who specialize or at least have some expertise in opioid addiction should be my first priority. At the moment, it is one of the more pressing health issues in Philadelphia.