HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Ohio Records 4,050 Drug Deaths Last Year, Up 33 Percent Over
Pubdate: Wed, 30 Aug 2017
Source: Columbus Dispatch (OH)
Copyright: 2017 The Columbus Dispatch
Contact:  http://www.dispatch.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/93
Author: Alan Johnson

OHIO RECORDS 4,050 DRUG DEATHS LAST YEAR, UP 33 PERCENT OVER 2015

More state spending, legislation and debate on Ohio's drug crisis
don't appear to have made a dent as the statewide death toll from
accidental drug overdoses soared last year to 4,050, a 33-percent jump
over 2015.

Fentanyl, the deadly opioid that is 50 times stronger than heroin, is
increasingly to blame for overdose deaths, with fentanyl and its
derivatives accounting for 58.2 percent of the deaths, up from 37.9
percent in 2015. There were 3,050 overdose deaths in 2015.

There was an improvement in the number of deaths from prescriptions
opioids, which were at the lowest level since 2009, according to the
report released Wednesday by the Ohio Department of Health.

"The continued increase in opioid-related deaths reaffirms that we
still have much work to do, but Ohio is seeing important progress in
reducing the number of prescription opioids available for abuse and
prescription-related overdose deaths," said Dr. Mark Hurst, medical
director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction
Services. "This progress is significant because prescription opioid
abuse is frequently a gateway to heroin and fentanyl use later on."

Ohio is spending about $1 billion each year to help communities battle
the scourge of drug abuse and addiction at the local level, including
significant funding to help address treatment, prevention and law
enforcement. Those resources include:

Franklin County had 314 deaths, third highest in the state, up from
279 in 2015. Cuyahoga was highest at 547, up from 275 the previous
year.
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