Heroin suspected in 3 deaths in Lancaster, 23 overdoses reported since Friday night

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LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa.– Emergency crews responded to 23 drug-related overdoses in Lancaster County between Friday and Monday, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney’s office.

Three people died as a result, according to C. Robert May, executive director of LEMSA, Lancaster County’s busiest emergency services provider.

May said heroin abuse is suspected in the overdoses. Fifteen of those responses happened between Friday night and Saturday.

“Unfortunately, this news is not really a surprise,” District Attorney Craig Stedman said Monday morning. “We have seen a significant spike in heroin abuse locally and all over the country.”

Many, but not all of the calls, were in Lancaster city, May reported.

Lancaster EMS covers all or parts of at least 25 municipalities in Lancaster County, including Lancaster city.

The rash follows reported spikes in recent weeks in York County and Philadelphia.

Philadelphia health officials pointed to a 16-hour span on Dec. 1 when 12 people died of suspected drug overdose.

As many as 35 people died in Philadelphia overdoses between Dec. 1 and 5, according to reports.

In York County, three people died of suspected overdose in five hours on Nov. 30, according to the York County coroner’s office.

“This simply reinforces the urgency for all aspects of our society to unite to combat this scourge. We need to combine enforcement with treatment as well as prevention and education,” Stedman said. “My office is committed to doing all we can in these critical areas, but we cannot do it alone.”