Welcome to October in Philadelphia, where we’re going to have record-breaking heat tomorrow 🙄. And, across the state, mixing drugs has become a phenomenon. Stimulants like meth and cocaine seem to be on the rise. Combined with the current opioid crisis, it makes creating a treatment strategy even more difficult.

— Josh Rosenblat (@joshrosenblat, morningnewsletter@inquirer.com)

The use of stimulants like meth and cocaine is on the rise in Philly

Fatal overdoses involving cocaine and methamphetamine rose dramatically between 2016 and 2017 in Philadelphia and stayed mostly stable in 2018. And as the city battles an opioid epidemic, mixing drugs has become a statewide phenomenon.

That can make drug treatment complicated. The treatments for the two types of drugs are very different, with opioid medication helping with cravings and treatment for stimulants focusing more on behaviors, according to the medical director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Poison Center.

Electric cars offer ‘guilt-free driving’ and aid the climate. So why doesn’t Pennsylvania have more?

Hybrid and all-electric cars have become cheaper and their batteries have become longer-lasting. Plus, Pennsylvania offers up to $1,500 in rebates to people who buy the cars. Still, the state falls behind in the adoption of electric vehicles.

In interviews with The Inquirer, owners of electric cars say they’re largely happy with them. Advocates, however, say that word-of-mouth endorsements aren’t really going to move the needle. There are steps the state can take to try to increase electric car sales and buy-in from electric utilities could help, too.

How one councilmember has de facto control over almost all land use decisions in his Northeast Philly district

Brian O’Neill, a Republican who has repped Northeast Philly for 40 years, says that he prioritizes immediate neighbors’ concerns when evaluating development proposals.

Now facing one of the toughest reelection challenges of his career, O’Neill is doubling down on his control of zoning issues in the 10th District. “I ran in large part on zoning abuses that were going on prior to my election in ’80 and how wealthy developers not from the area were inundating neighborhoods with stuff that didn’t belong there,” he said. “I consider myself the equalizer in this.”

What you need to know today

Through Your Eyes | #OurPhilly

Really cool perspective on this shot, @skinniry!

Tag your Instagram posts or tweets with #OurPhilly and we’ll pick our favorite each day to feature in this newsletter and give you a shout out!

That’s Interesting


“But censoring speech will always end up harming the people whom it aims to protect. Yes, you should raise your voice against racism. Yet when you try to restrict what others can say, racial minorities will suffer.” — Jonathan Zimmerman, an education and history teacher at Penn, writes about universities allowing racist speech on campus.

  • With recent moves, Harrisburg is leading Pennsylvania backward on gun violence, The Inquirer Editorial Board writes.

  • Pat Chrismas, the policy director for the Committee of Seventy, has some questions for City Council about new land bank proposals.

What we’re reading

Your Daily Dose of | Chicken thighs and Mashed Yuca 😋

Chef José Luis Reynoso and Ana Roque have taken their Dominican-European fusion cooking from a YouTube channel to in-person cooking classes to, eventually, a food truck. But it hasn’t been an easy road.