Here’s what data say about who is dying from overdoses in Clark County


Clark County set a new record while ranking third in the state for drug deaths in 2017 by the Ohio Department of Health, according to preliminary data from the state agency when adjusted for age.

The health department found 96 Clark County residents died of an unintentional drug-related overdose in 2017. When adjusted for age, the department gave Clark County a score of 81. Only Montgomery County and Fayette County scored higher.

“We had the highest total number of deaths in county history,” Clark County Coroner Richard Marsh said. “And it was due to the opioid epidemic. At one point, almost half of our deaths … were drug deaths.”

READ: Clark County drug deaths are down in 2018, but drug use likely similar

Clark County ranked in the top 10 of all counties in total number of residents dying from a drug overdose, the state numbers show. Marsh said his office recorded 104 drug overdose deaths in the county in 2017, which indicates multiple non-residents died of overdoses in the county.

Men were more likely to die by drug overdose than women in 2017, the statistics from the Clark County Combined Health District show.

“The most common age group among individuals who died of a drug overdose in 2017 was 35-44 years, accounting for 27 percent of all overdose deaths,” said Anna Jean Petroff, Clark County Combined Health District epidemiologist. “The next most common age group was 45-54 years, at 24 percent.”

Numbers provided by the coroner’s office show 2017 was a troubling year for the county compared to previous years. In 2014, there were 37 drug overdose deaths in the county. In 2014 there were 73. And in 2016 there were 79.

“The first part of the year was the worst,” Marsh said of 2017. “But it continued throughout the year. We had really increased our workload. Everyone was increased. EMS, hospital, everybody was just seeing an enormous increase.”

Marsh said it was obvious the death rates were high, but Clark County being ranked in the top three is surprising.

“You like to know if there is something different in all the counties … why are we different from another county?” Marsh said. “I’m not sure if I have a good reason for that, why we are so high.”

MORE: Drug crisis traumatizing children in Clark County, state

He said understanding what other counties are doing around the state to keep their numbers lower could help leaders here.

So far in 2018, the Clark County Coroner’s Office has confirmed 25 drug overdose deaths. That number is smaller than previous years, but there is still drug problem in Clark County, said Carey McKee, Springfield Clark County Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Coalition coordinator.

“We don’t think it’s getting better,” she said. “We are still having overdoes deaths and any death is not good. Our goal is to prevent any substance abuse death.”

She believes Narcan is saving lives, but it is important for anyone who is on drugs to seek professional help, she said.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Health

Bipartisan group improving Ohio’s outdoors opportunities
Bipartisan group improving Ohio’s outdoors opportunities

A bipartisan effort to improve Ohio’s 3,000-plus-mile network of trails, headed in part by a Warren County state lawmaker, has been an example for other states in driving improvement of outdoors opportunities, officials said. The bipartisan Ohio Legislative Trails Caucus, thought to be the first of its kind, is headed by two state senators, Steve...
Low-carb diets can help keep the weight off, study says
Low-carb diets can help keep the weight off, study says

There are several diets that promote weight loss, including low-carb plans. Now experts have more evidence to prove they work, according to a new report.  Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital recently conducted a small study, published in the British Medical Journal, to determine the link between weight loss maintenance...
These jobs have the highest suicide rates in the country, CDC says
These jobs have the highest suicide rates in the country, CDC says

Jobs can be stressful, but there are some that cause more of a mental strain than others, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency recently conducted a study to determine the occupational groups with the highest suicide rates. To do so, they examined data from 17 states that participated...
How you can help Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill earn national bragging rights
How you can help Legendary Lights of Clifton Mill earn national bragging rights

For more than 30 years, Clifton Mill has been a glowing example of what the holiday season is about in Southwest Ohio.  The official Ohio.org website published its Ohio Holiday Lights Trail list, and Clifton Mill was near the top of most spectacular light shows in the state. The recognition comes just in time, as Clifton Mill is in the running...
The best Amazon Black Friday deals of 2018
The best Amazon Black Friday deals of 2018

Not a fan of the chaos that inevitably comes with in-person Black Friday shopping? » RELATED: Amazon offers free shipping for all during 2018 holiday season If you’d rather get in on the fun from the comfort of your couch or bed, e-commerce giant Amazon has plenty of deals for its customers just in time for the holidays....
More Stories