Cocaine

Sarah Boden / 90.5 WESA

A second man has been indicted in relation to the rash of drug overdoses that occurred earlier this week in the Pittsburgh area.

Mark Lennihan / AP

In 2017, 5,614 people in Pennsylvania died from a drug overdose. County coroner and medical examiner reports show that fentanyl, a synethic opioid, was present in 64.8 percent of these fatalities. 

Many of these deaths were accidential as people often ingest or inject fentanyl without knowing it.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection / AP

U.S. customs officials say drug dogs have sniffed out Philadelphia's largest seizure of cocaine in more than two decades inside a shipping container.

Cocaine, Meth On Rise In Pennsylvania’s Early Warning Areas

Mar 5, 2019
U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP

Methamphetamine and cocaine use are on the rise in Pennsylvania while prescription drug and heroin deaths are leveling off in some areas, data that appears to reflect nationwide trends.

Jennifer Smith, secretary for Pennsylvania's Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, told a state Senate committee Monday that the state is seeing "quite an uptick" in cocaine and methamphetamine use in three early warning areas.

The Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Johnstown areas are usually the first to show new trends across Pennsylvania, Smith said.

Elise Amendola / AP

Public health workers at Thursday’s Drug User Health conference at Allegheny General Hospital advocated for several controversial strategies for helping people with opioid and other substance use disorders.

Department of Justice Western District of Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh played host to one of the largest cocaine rings in Western Pennsylvania history, according to U.S. Attorney Scott Brady, who served 39 indictments related to the case on Wednesday. The organization spread through Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Los Angeles, with the cocaine sourced from Mexico.

"By taking down an entire multi-state organization at once, the impact on our region is immediately felt," Brady said.

Keith Srakokic / AP Photo

There's evidence to suggest that cocaine is more addictive for adolescents than adults. Scientists believe that at least part of this has to do with biological mechanisms in the brain, but they're not sure exactly what those mechanisms are.

A special sensor being developed at the University of Pittsburgh could help give them a better understanding.