By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Montgomery County, Pa. has assembled a task force to take a look at the surging number of heroin and prescription drug overdoses in the county.

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The county has had 43 heroin overdoses since January, sixteen of them in just the past three months.

The task force — made up of representatives from law enforcement, social services, education, and the community — is charged with coming up with solutions, short-term and long-term, to address the problems.

Abington police chief Bill Kelly (far right in photo)  says it often starts with doctors prescribing painkillers to patients.

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“Many of those people are getting addicted, and when they go to get those medications to deal with that addiction, it is so expensive and so difficult to get that many of them are turning to heroin because it’s so plentiful and cheap right now,” he says.

It was Kelly who went to the county and proposed the idea for the task force, saying law enforcement can’t wage the battle alone.  They hope to raise public awareness about the dangers of heroin and prescription pills.

 

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