You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Ohio tops nation in opioid overdoses

Ohio accounted for more than 7 percent of all opioid deaths nationally in 2014.


More people died of opioid overdose deaths in Ohio during 2014 than any other state, providing further proof that Ohio is the epicenter of an opioid epidemic ravaging the nation.

Of the country’s 28,647 overdose deaths in 2014 attributed to opioids, Ohio’s 2,106 accounted for 7.4 percent of the U.S. total, according to a study by The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

California, with more than three times Ohio’s population, ranked second with 2,024 opioid deaths followed by New York with 1,739, according to the report combing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Ohio led all states in both heroin deaths (1,208) — more than 1 in 10 nationwide — and those from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl and carfentanil (590). The remaining deaths came primarily from the misuse of prescription painkillers.

>> Related: More potent drugs raise stakes in Ohio fight against opioids

And it appears doubtful Ohio will relinquish the grim standing soon, said Helen Jones-Kelley, executive director of the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) board of Montgomery County.

As bad as the 2014 numbers were, the 2015 numbers were worse.

We still have not peaked yet,” Jones-Kelley said. “That’s the scariest part.”

>> Related: After five overdoses local woman vows to stay clean

Although it is not part of the report, opioid deaths in Ohio jumped 23 percent last year to 2,590, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Melanie Amato, a spokeswoman for the department, said the state is “committed to an aggressive and comprehensive approach” to curbing the deaths, many coming after a person addicted to prescription pain pills turns to the street for drugs.

“We have seen 81 million fewer opioid doses dispensed to Ohio patients since the state took initiatives to curb abuse,” she said. “We are continuing to crack down on drug trafficking, preventing youth drug use before it starts, encouraging appropriate use and availability of pain medications, saving lives by expanding availability of naloxone, and creating pathways to addiction treatment and recovery.”

>> Related: Extra-lethal heroin raising alarms throughout Ohio

In Montgomery County, all unintentional overdose deaths totaled 181 for the first half of 2016, according to the coroner’s office. If that trend continues, the year’s total would far surpass that of 2015 and set a record for the number of overdose deaths.

Of the county’s 259 accidental drug deaths last year, the coroner attributed 185 to opiates; through June of this year , 146 death certificates noted heroin or synthetic opioids.

Fentanyl — and more recently carfentanil — are extraordinarily potent synthetic opiates that officials blame for the ever-rising number of deaths. Carfentanil is a general anesthetic used on elephants and other large animals.

Jones-Kelley said the report’s statistics came as no surprise.

“These are numbers that pretty much generated the initiatives that we’ve been attempting to introduce and expand over the last couple of years to address the epidemic,” she said.

Beginning in September, Montgomery County brought together public health and elected officials, as well as treatment providers, law enforcement and the judiciary in a collaborative effort to fight the problem locally. The county also added $3.5 million to an already $10 million the county had expected to spend on fighting addiction programs this year.

>> Related: County puts millions toward opioid fight

Th community will eventually see results from the plan promising to get users at risk of overdosing into treatment and steer others away from drugs altogether, Jones-Kelley said.

“I think it frustrates people when they can’t see the real impact of all of the efforts and activities that are going on right now,” she said. “It will show results. It will.”

>>>More Info: Drug Overdose Deaths


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Crime

Student of the Week Southeastern High School
Student of the Week Southeastern High School

Name: Saylor Evans School: Southeastern High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Extra-curricular: Four year volleyball player, senior class president, National Honor Society secretary, Spirit of Southeastern member, two year Quick Recall member, three year choir member, choir vice president, high school musical cast member, student director for the musical,...
Athlete of the Week Southeastern High School
Athlete of the Week Southeastern High School

Name: Robbie Mills School: Southeastern High School Grade: 12 Age: 18 Sports: Football, Wrestling Claim to fame/honors: Honorable Mention in OHC for football and wrestling, 2nd team OHC in wrestling junior year, Honorable Mention in Clark County for wrestling junior/senior year Words you live by: “Never give up.” Toughest opponent: Mechanicsburg...
'Happy Days' stars share condolences after Erin Moran's death
'Happy Days' stars share condolences after Erin Moran's death

Ron Howard, Henry Winkler and other stars from the cast of "Happy Days" are sharing their condolences in the wake of Erin Moran's Death. Moran portrayed Joanie Cunningham, Howard's sister on the show. She was found dead Saturday night. “Such sad sad news. RIP Erin. I’ll always choose to remember you on our show making scenes better...
‘Happy Days’ actress Erin Moran dead at 56
‘Happy Days’ actress Erin Moran dead at 56

Erin Moran, best known to TV audiences as Joanie Cunningham in “Happy Days” and its spinoff “Joanie Loves Chachi,” was found dead Saturday. She was 56. Moran played the younger sister of Richie Cunningham for the show’s 11-season run. She reprised the role in the spinoff, which only lasted a season. After the show was...
Rare, 400-pound crocodile gets surgery at Florida zoo
Rare, 400-pound crocodile gets surgery at Florida zoo

A 13-year-old Orinoco crocodile was taken into surgery at the Zoo Hospital in Miami on Friday to treat an infected wound. A team of zoo staff veterinarians operated on the croc’s left wrist when “something, probably another cranky crocodile, took a bite out of it,” the Miami Herald reports. Orinoco crocodiles are a rare, endangered...
More Stories