Heroin, other drugs killing Ohioans in record numbers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Heroin killing Ohioans at record numbers

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The number of people dying from heroin overdoses has tripled since 2010.

In 2015, more than 52,000 people died from drug overdoses, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics. Overdose deaths involving fentanyl and tramadol also increased, according to the data from 2015, the latest year available.

The impact of the epidemic stretches past those who are struggling with addiction, with dire consequences for families, communities and the economy, said Katherine Gallagher Robbins with the Center for American Progress.

“It’s in every corner of this country,” Robbins said. “We need to think of this and all drug addiction as a public health crisis.”

Ohio had particularly high drug overdose rates in 2015. The only states with higher death rates were West Virginia, New Hampshire and Kentucky.

On Saturday afternoon in Dayton, a man’s body was found in the 2900 block of Kingston Avenue. When medics arrived, he was already deceased due to a presumed drug overdose, according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch Center.

Deaths increased in all races, ethnicities and age groups, with adults 45 to 54 having the highest fatal OD rate, the data show.

President Donald Trump pledged on the campaign trail that addicts would get the services they need. Robbins criticized GOP priorities laid out so far this year that she said could do more harm than good.

“I think if we don’t address things now we are looking at some really dark things coming in the future,” she said.

The data in the report showed that fewer people died in 2015 from taking powerful and addictive opioid drugs like oxycodone and hydrocodone.

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