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00:00:02
>> America's opioid crisis has not just decimated communities and destroyed families, its becoming an urgent financial crisis for local governments which simply don't have the money to pay for the fallout. I'm Tim Reid with Reuters in Indiana Pennsylvania, a rural area about 60 miles from Pittsburgh. There's been an explosion of opioid overdose deaths here and in neighboring counties over the past two years.
00:00:27
And this opioid epidemic is having very damaging knock on effects on local government budgets such as the DA's office and the coroner's office. And small businesses are struggling too.>> In terms of county government with respect to what it does to budgets and with respect to the effect its having on families and on our community has just been something that I didn't think I would see in my lifetime.
00:00:54
>> When Dr. Sidney Goldblatt of Weinberg, Pennsylvania started performing autopsies 50 years ago, a drug overdose was a rare occurrence. Not anymore.>> In 2014, 40% of our deaths were due to drug overdose. In 2016, 62% of our deaths were due to drug overdose. What we've seen in recent years is that coroners exhaust their budget by the middle of the year.
00:01:20
>> And with autopsies costing up to $3,000 a piece, the bill for the coroner's office in Baker's community has nearly doubled in just five years.>> We are forced oftentimes to use contingency funds we've had to set aside and unfortunately those are very difficult to budget for.>> In January and February of last year the primary ambulance service in Indiana county received six heroin related calls.
00:01:46
In the first two months of this year they responded to 61.>> Over a period of time from June to December of 2016, our organization experienced well over $100,000 in operational losses due to the response to opioids.>> Businesses, too, are struggling. They're finding it hard to find drug free employees.
00:02:06
>> You're trying to go your business, you have opportunities and we tried to hire last year 50 people filled a myriad of positions. We narrowed it down to 120. Out of that 120, 40 people either did not pass the drug test or their criminal background.>> And the opioid crisis, despite national attention, shows no signs of abating and the costs just keep on climbing.
00:02:29
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