The Drug Overdose Task Force (DOTF) provides technical assistance and helps communities build coalitions to address the overdose epidemic in Westmoreland County.  The DOTF is led by Director Tim Phillips and advised by Westmoreland County Commissioners Sean Kertes, Gina Cerilli and Doug Chew.

Click here for the 2018 DOTF annual report.

Drug Overdose Data

Following a downward trend from 2017 in accidental overdose deaths, there were 90 confirmed deaths from drug and alcohol overdoses in 2019, with 14 cases pending investigation.

In 2018 there were 122 confirmed deaths from drug and alcohol overdoses.

In 2017 there were 193 confirmed deaths from drug and alcohol overdoses in Westmoreland County. 55 cases involved heroin and 141 involved fentanyl.

  • Fentanyl related overdoses increased 38% since 2016 and 463% since 2015.
  • Heroin overdoses decreased 53% since 2016.

In 2016 there were 174 confirmed deaths from drug and alcohol overdoses in Westmoreland County. 94 of the confirmed cases involved heroin.

In 2015, the overdose number was 126.

Visit the Westmoreland County Coroner’s website for up-to-date data.

Recovery Friendly Workplaces

What is it?

Westmoreland County’s Recovery Friendly Workplace Initiative promotes individual wellness for Pennsylvanians, empowering workplaces to provide support for people recovering from substance use disorder.

Recovery Friendly Workplaces:

  • Demonstrate a commitment to creating a recovery friendly environment

  • Promote a culture that challenges the stereotypes associated with substance use disorder

  • Enhance workplace safety while improving productivity and profitability by addressing behavioral health issues “head-on”

Why apply to be recognized as a Recovery Friendly Workplace?

Recovery Friendly Workplaces encourage collaboration among employers, employees, and communities to create positive change.

Building a recovery-friendly culture isn’t just good for your employees in recovery or those with an undiagnosed SUD—it’s good for every employee’s health, and for your business’ bottom line. You’ll support your community and promote productivity by recognizing recovery from substance use disorder as a strength, and by hiring and working purposefully with individuals in recovery.

Businesses and organizations awarded the Recovery Friendly symbol will be granted permission to promote their status in the marketplace.

For more information, please see the Recovery Friendly Workplaces flyer. Or visit

We gratefully acknowledge the state of New Hampshire for their collaboration on this project.

Real Life Example of a Recovery Friendly Workplace

Who are the “Difference Makers in our lives?” Sometimes we are well aware of those who have made an impact and other times it might be a subtle suggestion or friendly act that can change things in a dramatic way. The video below highlights one such “difference maker” and will hopefully inspire others about their own power to make the difference.

Anyone Can Make The Difference. Anyone.

Who are the “Difference Makers in our lives?” Sometimes we are well aware of those who have made an impact and other times it might be a subtle suggestion or friendly act that can change things in a dramatic way. This series of stories will highlight some “difference makers” and hopefully inspire others about their own power to make the difference.Part I: Westmoreland CountyPaid for with Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars.

Posted by PaStop • Stop Opiate Abuse Campaign on Thursday, August 29, 2019

Paid for with Pennsylvania taxpayer dollars.

Donate to the DOTF:



These are the facts:

  • Drug overdoses kill more Pennsylvanians each year than car accidents.
  • In Westmoreland County last year, those in age group 21-40 were dying most often.
  • Opioids are the most common cause of overdose deaths in Westmoreland County.
  • Opioids depress respiration – an overdose stops breathing and depresses the central nervous system, resulting in death. Naloxone reverses this.
  • Heroin users aren’t the only ones at risk – risk factors such as asthma, taking high doses of pain medication, alcohol and other substance abuse or underlying mental illness increases the likelihood of overdose.

But amidst these grim statistics, there is hope. The Westmoreland County Drug Treatment Court is working to give individuals from our community new hope. Become a partner in someone’s future by donating to the Westmoreland County Drug Court Scholarship Fund.

Memorialize a loved one or request that he or she be remembered in lieu of funeral flowers, honor a family celebration, or designate the Fund as a beneficiary in your will.

Eligible Drug Court participants attending higher education or vocational school to build their futures will be able to apply for scholarships in 2020. No gift is too large or too small.

There are two easy ways to donate:

  • Click the PayPal Donate button above to donate online. In the note section, please write “DOTF”.
  • Make a check payable to: Westmoreland Community Action/DOTF and write “DC Scholarship” in the memo line. Send your check to: Accounting Department/Donations; DOTF; Westmoreland Community Action; 226 South Maple Avenue; Greensburg, PA 15601

Westmoreland Community Action is a tax exempt 501 (c)3 non-profit organization.


GET IN WESTMORELAND is a project of the Westmoreland County (PA) Drug Overdose Task Force. Visit us on the web at