Over 4,000 Ohioans died of drug overdoses in 2016, a 33 percent increase

Over 4,000 Ohioans died of drug overdoses in 2016, a 33 percent increase

Yet overdose deaths continue to rise.

Lori Criss, CEO of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health and Family Services Providers, said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that the addiction epidemic has grown to unthinkable proportions.

“Current efforts are falling woefully short,” she said. “It’s time to turn the state’s full attention to the prevention and treatment of substance use disorders.”

Ohio’s opioid epidemic began in the mid 1990s, said Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

“Unfortunately, the awareness of that only came retrospectively,” he said.

Officials continue to work to try to stay ahead of the state’s addiction problem, Hurst said, adding that a silver lining in Wednesday’s report was that 2016 had the fewest unintentional prescription opioid overdose deaths since 2009.

Earlier Wednesday, Gov. John Kasich, Hurst and other officials announced new rules to limit opioid prescriptions to patients experiencing acute, or temporary, pain.

There are indications that cocaine is increasingly being used with fentanyl and other opiates. Last year, 1,109 people died of cocaine overdoses – up from 61.9 percent from 2015. Among the cocaine deaths in 2016, 80.2 percent also involved an opiate.

Fentanyl and related drug deaths in Ohio:

  • 2016: 2,357
  • 2015: 1,155
  • 2014: 503
  • 2013: 84
  • 2012: 75

Overall drug overdose deaths:

  • 2016: 4,050
  • 2015: 3,050
  • 2014:  2,531
  • 2013: 2,110
  • 2012: 1,914

About 28 percent of the deaths occurred in Northeast Ohio:

  • Cuyahoga County: 547
  • Summit: 298
  • Lorain: 146
  • Lake: 94
  • Medina: 41
  • Geauga: 24
By | 2017-08-30T20:14:47+00:00 August 30th, 2017|News|0 Comments

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