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Drug overdoes in Ohio hit record high in 2015


Source: Health Policy Institute of Ohio


Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin (Source: “Drug overdose deaths pushed to another record high in Ohio,” Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 25, 2016).

Across Ohio, someone died from a drug overdose every two hours and 52 minutes on average all year long in 2015. That's eight people a day.

The annual report on unintentional drug overdose deaths released this week by the Ohio Department of Health showed the increasing toll from all drugs was 20.5 percent higher than 2014, a disappointment to state officials who have worked for years on many fronts to curb the drug-related carnage.

In an otherwise-gloomy report, there were two positive notes: 81 million fewer doses of opiate painkillers were prescribed in 2015 compared to 2011, and the use of naloxone, a drug used to save lives by reversing potentially fatal overdoses, jumped to 19,782 doses last year, 7,207 more than 2013. More than one dose of naloxone is often used to revive victims.

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1 Comment

VCW, MD on Friday 09/02/2016 at 05:44AM wrote:

Saying the last paragraph is a positive note is questionable. Obviously the 81 million fewer opiate prescriptions is not helping the problem and it might be making it worse. The use of Naloxone has tripleD. That is more evidence that the problem is getting worse. Saving someone from an overdose is only useful if they get into treatment which is still unavailable the majority of the time and often inadequate when it is. We are losing this battle and the toll on young adults, their children, their parents, and our society is immeasurable.

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