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.
FACTS & FIGURES
unintentional drug deaths from Jan. 1 to July 1 in Clark County in 2018
unintentional drug deaths in Clark County in 2017
unintentional drug deaths in Clark County in 2016
unintentional drug deaths in Clark County in 2015
SOURCE: Clark County Coroner’s Office