Fatal drug ODs in Ohio rise to record number

Associated Press


Fatal drug overdoses increased to a record 4,854 last year in Ohio, a 20 percent rise compared with the previous year, according to information reported to the state.

Data on unintentional drug deaths provided to the Ohio Department of Health show 2017 was the eighth year in a row that drug deaths increased, The Columbus Dispatch reported Sunday. Ohio’s county coroners logged 4,050 fatal overdoses in 2016.

The newspaper’s review of the data shows the synthetic opioid fentanyl continued to fuel the drug epidemic, accounting for nearly three-fourths of last year’s overdose deaths and killing 3,431 people. That was 46 percent higher than in the previous year.

Cocaine-related deaths increased 39 percent from 1,109 in 2016 to 1,540 last year.

Positive news shown by the data included a 46 drop in heroin deaths to 987 last year for the fewest deaths in four years.

Fatal overdoses from prescription opioids also fell in 2017 to 523.

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