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Deadly drug overdoses rising in Monroe County

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    MONROE COUNTY, Pennsylvania (WNEP) — It’s been two years since Joanna Pasquariell from Stroudsburg lost her brother Patrick to a heroin overdose in 2018.

“I was attached to his hip 24/7. He was a really good big brother and a good son to my parents. He was the life of the party, he was funny, he was outgoing, and he was just a really amazing person,” Pasquariell said.

Drug overdoses resulting in death are a big problem in Monroe County. County Detective Kim Lippincott sees it first-hand.

“We have county detectives who respond to every overdose death scene, and we treat these very seriously, just like we would a homicide,” said Det. Lippincott.

County officials say overdoses resulting in death have doubled since last year. That’s why they wanted to get the message out, especially around the holidays.

“This year, Monroe County has seen 83 overdose deaths confirmed and seven pending. My office responds to all those deaths, of course, in conjunction with the DA’s office. We are working very diligently together to make sure we can prosecute these individuals for these deaths if we can,” said Monroe County Coroner Thomas Yanac.

“The district attorney’s office here in Monroe County handles these cases very aggressively, so if you’re selling heroin and you’re responsible for a death, we are coming for you,” Lippincott said.

The man who sold Pasquariell’s brother heroin is behind bars, but the family says that doesn’t change the fact that their loved one is gone.

Family members want others who might be struggling with the same situation to know they are not alone.

“Even when it’s not my family member, if I see someone who passed from an overdose, it hurts me tremendously because now I know what that family is going to go through,” Pasquariell said.

Monroe County officials say there is help available if you or someone you love is struggling with drug addiction.

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