February 23, 2022

Franklin County District Attorney Provides Update On Overdose Deaths

CHAMBERSBURG, PA (February 22, 2022) – Here in Franklin County, we lost 29 members of our community to fatal overdoses in the 2021 calendar year: For local historical context, the numbers of fatal overdoes in Franklin County since 2014 are as follow:

  • 2014: 11
  • 2015: 24
  • 2016: 46
  • 2017: 35
  • 2018: 32
  • 2019: 26
  • 2020: 29


Put in a national context for the last several years, our overdoses have thankfully not exponentially increased in Franklin County, and remain lower than the amount we endured from 2016-2018. In an article published in the New York Times on November 17, 2021, government studies show that fatal overdose deaths reached a record high exceeding 100,000 between April 2020 and April 2021.


Christy Unger, administrator of Franklin/Fulton Drug & Alcohol, says, “We continue to prioritize and work hard to prevent overdoses in our communities. Recovery is possible and people suffering with substance use disorder should always be given chances to find their own personal pathway to long-term recovery that works for them. We are in the business of saving lives – these are our community members – our brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, parents, and neighbors.”


“As our community surely knows by now, fatal overdoses are a very top priority for all of our collaborative partners in Franklin County, including law enforcement,” said Franklin County District Attorney and Overdose Task Force Chair Matt Fogal. “We have steadfastly worked with precision and total focus on this overdose epidemic and have been innovative.


“While change of any sort is often generally resisted due to human nature, we have nonetheless wisely adapted to the environment and have certainly achieved a measure of success, even in this most turbulent time,” said Fogal. “As ever, we can only achieve positive results through agenda-less teamwork and sincere commitment and empathy at the grassroots level.”


Click here for the 2021 Overdose Reduction Data Report, prepared by our faithful partners at the University of Pittsburgh/Program Evaluation and Research Unit (“PITT PERU”).


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