January record month for Clark County overdose deaths

Clark County saw a record 17 suspected drug overdose deaths in one month in January, according to Coroner Richard Marsh.

Since 2013, drug overdoses have likely claimed 251 people in Clark County, including 215 confirmed deaths. Another 36 are suspected to have died from overdoses, but the coroner is still awaiting toxicology reports.

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While many of the deaths involve multiple drugs, the majority include opioids, such as heroin and fentanyl.

Of the 49 total deaths in Clark County through Feb. 10 this year, more than half — 27 — are suspected drug overdose deaths, including 10 this month, he said.

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Last year, 68 people died of drug overdoses through November, Marsh said. Nine more are likely to be confirmed as overdose deaths, Marsh said.

“Experience suggests that most of the suspected unintentional drug deaths will be confirmed as drug deaths,” he said.

In 2015, 73 people died of drug overdoses — the same number of people who died in 2013 and 2014 combined. The county saw 37 people die of drug overdoses both of those years.

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Coming Sunday: Springfield News-Sun reporter Michael Cooper rode along with the Springfield Fire/Rescue Division as it responded to calls throughout the city to describe the physical and emotional toll the heroin epidemic is having on local first responders.

Clark County drug deaths by year

2013: 37

2014: 37

2015: 73

2016: 77 (68 confirmed, 9 suspected)

2017: 27 (suspected through Feb. 10)

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