CRISIS IN KENSINGTON: Philly volunteers knocking on doors handing out Narcan as overdoses reach record-high

Warning: This story contains graphic images.

As a new report shows fatal overdoses have reached an all-time high, outreach workers in Philadelphia will be hitting the streets across the city to deliver free overdose reversal medication and fentanyl test strips. Knocking on thousands of doors.

The Department of Public Health is partnering with Philadelphia Counts on a door-to-door campaign to provide residents with overdose prevention and treatment resources. This initiative, which started this month, city ​​report The number of unintentional fatal overdose deaths will reach 1,413 in 2022, an 11% increase from the previous year’s record high of 1,276, according to a paper published on October 2.

“Through this partnership, we will ensure equitable access to harm reduction supplies and treatment resources in Philadelphia communities, and encourage residents to be trusted messengers and participate in further disseminating these tools.” We can reduce the number of intakes,” said the city’s community director. Vanessa Caracoza spoke about her engagement in a statement to Fox News.

Kensington tranq users display gruesome, flesh-eating wounds from unknowingly ingesting a potentially deadly substance. (Megan Myers/Fox News Digital)

A Philadelphia city official told Fox News that aid workers received totes containing the overdose-reversing drug Narcan, test strips to detect fentanyl in the substance, and a city resource guide. They are handing out bags. Since launching the initiative on October 6, they have knocked on more than 6,000 doors and had nearly 1,000 conversations with residents.

“The Department of Health, the Opioid Task Force, and several other city agencies and partners are working diligently to meet the challenges of this evolving crisis, and we are ensuring that all residents understand the broad risks and We encourage you to learn about the life-saving resources available to you.” Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said: press release.

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Kensington drug addict passes out in grass

As drug overdose deaths skyrocket, a City of Philadelphia initiative is knocking on doors to provide residents with overdose prevention and treatment resources. (Megan Myers/Fox News Digital)

The city’s program will target all area residents, but will focus on areas with the highest rates of drug overdose increases, such as Kensington. According to city data, parts of the area – internationally notorious for public drug overdoses – are among the ZIP codes with the highest number of overdose deaths in all of Philadelphia, with the death toll at There were 193 people, an increase of 14% from the previous year.

Every day in Kensington, dozens of drug users can be seen injecting themselves on the sidewalks and in McPherson Park, known locally as Needle Park. Some people bleed blood from their arms after removing the syringe, others pass out on the sidewalk or stumble in a daze on a busy road.

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drug users inject themselves with needles

Kensington, known as Philadelphia’s open-air drug market, has attracted international attention for its extreme public drug use. Drug users can be seen injecting themselves on the sidewalks and in McPherson Park, also known as “Needle Park.” (Megan Myers/Fox News Digital)

First heroin plagued Philadelphia’s drug community, then fentanyl. Now, the addictive veterinary tranquilizer xylazine is making its way into the drug supply, inflicting flesh-grabbing wounds on its users.

The substance, known as zombie drug or trunk, was detected in about one-third of overdose deaths, according to a 2022 city report. Most (83%) of the city’s overdose deaths involved opioids, and the majority of those deaths involved fentanyl, according to the data.

“The 2022 Overdose Report highlights the urgent need for increased awareness and more tools to combat the growing overdose epidemic in Philadelphia and across the nation,” Kenney said in a press release. “There is,” he said. “It is no longer accurate to call this an opioid epidemic. This is an overdose epidemic driven by an increasingly contaminated drug supply.”

But overdoses are not limited to Kensington’s open-air drug market. Overdose deaths occur in nearly every ZIP code in the city, with some racial groups disproportionately affected.

Drug-related deaths among Black people citywide increased by 146% between 2018 and 2022, according to the report.

A summer afternoon in this drug-infested community. clock:


“Overdose rates have been steadily increasing in Philadelphia’s Black and Hispanic communities over the past few years,” Overdose Response Director Noel Foizen told Fox News in a statement. “Due to several historical factors, many people in these communities may be reluctant to come forward as drug users.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigor said in a press release that drug overdose data shows Kensington’s crisis is not contained.

“The risk is not limited to people who are addicted to opioids. People who use meth or infrequent drug users also die from overdoses, most often from opioids mixed with meth.” said Bettigor. “We are committed to working with partners across the city to find new strategies to combat this growing threat.”

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