A mean of 11 individuals died every day of drug overdoses final 12 months in Ohio, officers stated Wednesday as they reported one more grim milestone within the state’s addictions epidemic.
A report four,050 individuals died of drug overdoses in 2016, with fatalities pushed largely by the emergence of stronger medicine just like the artificial painkiller fentanyl, the Well being Division stated. Overdose deaths rose 33 p.c over the three,050 deaths in 2015.
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Compounding the issue was the looks of medication like carfentanil, an opioid so highly effective it’s used to sedate elephants, and the lacing of medication like cocaine with fentanyl.
The state says heroin-related deaths are leveling off, and deaths from prescription painkillers fell for the fifth straight 12 months.
The prescribing of painkillers is also falling, an vital step to decreasing total habit charges, stated Dr. Mark Hurst, medical director of the Ohio Division of Psychological Well being and Dependancy Providers.
“This progress is important as a result of prescription opioid abuse is regularly a gateway to heroin and fentanyl use afterward,” Hurst stated.
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Greater than half the overdose deaths in 2016 concerned fentanyl, in contrast with 40 p.c final 12 months and 20 p.c in 2014.
Regardless of quite a few state efforts to deal with the epidemic, it exhibits little indicators of slowing. Cuyahoga noticed 547 deaths this 12 months, however officers there already are predicting the state will see greater than 700 deaths as soon as 2017 figures are tallied.
The Franklin County coroner stated earlier this 12 months the county had 173 overdose deaths via April, a 66 p.c bounce from the identical interval a 12 months in the past.