DA’s Office introduces “Overdose Fatality Review Program”

October 7, 2022

The Monroe County Office of the District Attorney is implementing a new program to review fatal overdoses.

The Overdose Fatality Review Program (OFR) will begin meeting in November with the goal of identifying system gaps within our community and to prevent future fatal overdoses.

The District Attorney have been investigating and prosecuting drug dealers who deliver drugs to those that succumb to their addiction. We will now take a closer look at the victim and what went wrong. In today’s world, policing isn’t just about making an arrest; policing is about helping the community. A collaborative approach involving the police, the coroner, hospitals, emergency services, mental health agencies and drug and alcohol programs is necessary.

The OFR program will combine multiple disciplines to examine the life of an addict, leading up to their fatal overdose. The program will identify moments in the addict’s life where someone may have been able to intervene and assist the individual in getting help and getting clean. In many instances, prior to a fatal overdose, an individual has multiple contacts with the police, jail, hospitals, emergency services, rehabilitation programs or halfway houses. What can those organizations do better to prevent a fatal overdose?

Members from the OFR committee will meet bi-monthly and during those meetings will identify system gaps and collectively formulate recommendations to various community resources.

In addition to the support of local community and government organizations the Pennsylvania Department of Health is providing resources and support.

The District Attorney’s Office is seeking community stakeholders interested in this program. If you work with an organization that helps people in the throes of addiction and would like to be a part of the OFR program please contact the program coordinator, Detective Kim Lippincott, via email at klippincott@monroecountypa.gov.

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