Drug overdoses killed a record 3,050 people in Ohio last year, more than one-third of them from fentanyl, a super-potent opiate often mixed with heroin (Source: “Drug overdose deaths pushed to another record high in Ohio,” Columbus Dispatch, Aug. 25, 2016).
Across Ohio, someone died from a drug overdose every two hours and 52 minutes on average all year long in 2015. That's eight people a day.
The annual report on unintentional drug overdose deaths released this week by the Ohio Department of Health showed the increasing toll from all drugs was 20.5 percent higher than 2014, a disappointment to state officials who have worked for years on many fronts to curb the drug-related carnage.
In an otherwise-gloomy report, there were two positive notes: 81 million fewer doses of opiate painkillers were prescribed in 2015 compared to 2011, and the use of naloxone, a drug used to save lives by reversing potentially fatal overdoses, jumped to 19,782 doses last year, 7,207 more than 2013. More than one dose of naloxone is often used to revive victims.