Berks County DA issues Public Health Alert after rash of overdoses in Reading area over the weekend

BERKS COUNTY — Berks County District Attorney John T. Adams issued a Public Health Alert Monday after a rash of overdoses occurred over the weekend in the Reading, Exeter Township, Rockland Township and the West Reading Borough.

A total of 12 overdoses were reported, resulting in three deaths, Adams’ office said in a press release.

Detectives are awaiting results of toxicology reports from medical personnel in the fatal cases, Adams said.

Detectives from the West Reading Police Department, Reading Police Department, Exeter Police Department, Pennsylvania State Police and the District Attorney’s Detectives are investigating the incidents. The common denominator in these overdose investigations is a substance believed to be cocaine powder laced with an opioid, possibly fentanyl. The substances were packaged in clear plastic packets or baggies, authorities said.

If anyone has any information that may assist the detectives with these investigations and prevent the possibility of further overdoses, please contact the aforementioned police departments, and/or Crime Alert Berks (Phone: 1877-373-9913) or (Text Tip: 84741 starting your message with the word ALERTBERKS + your tip).

“We, as law enforcement, are combating this epidemic that has plagued our community with every resource available to us,” Adams said. “However, we also need your help. It is critical that the community remain vigilant and check on family and friends who may be using these dangerous drugs.”

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