Berks DA on opioid task force: We're going to work together

'We are losing so many lives each and every day'

Berks DA on opioid task force: We're going to work together

PHILADELPHIA - Pennsylvania's top prosecutors, including Berks County District Attorney John Adams, met in Philadelphia on Thursday to announce a new task force aimed at combating the deadly opioid and heroin epidemic.

Law enforcement officials said they'll be working together to crack down on doctors who capitalize on addicts, dealers and pharmaceutical companies.

"This isn't a crisis any one of us can tackle alone," said United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. "We have already been collaborating on these issues, but it is so critical we continue to work together in even more effective ways. This is the crisis of our time, and we need all hands on deck in an unprecedented way."

The prosecutors said they'll meet regularly to share information, intelligence and resources. They said they hope their efforts help to reverse the disturbingly-high trend of heroin and opioid overdoses in Pennsylvania.

"We're going to work together and we're going to dedicate ourselves, as we have been in cooperating with each other, to make a dent and to solve this problem because we are losing so many lives each and every day," Adams said.

According to a map displayed at the meeting, about 28 people per every 100,000 died of a drug-related overdose in Berks County in 2016.

Officials also said doctors in Pennsylvania are writing prescriptions for about 20 million opioid pills per month.

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