Thursday, September 8, 2016

3,050 Ohioans Died of Overdoses Last Year; Cuyahoga County Saw Record Deaths in August

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2016 at 12:56 PM

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There are many ways to dig into the nuanced and complex opiate public health crisis that, as Aaron Marks of the Heroin and Opioid Task Force in Northern Ohio previously told Scene, "is going to wipe out an entire generation of people." The entrance of fentanyl and carfentanil into the supply chain is reeking especially devastating havoc in the late summer months, piling up unheard of overdose numbers across Ohio as authorities scramble to coordinate treatment and response and funding. The nuance and complexities end up in a number though, and that brutal quotient keeps growing.

The sum total of the crisis for 2016 is yet to be seen — though experts expect nothing but record-setting numbers based on recent stats, which are sure to startle given the final numbers for Ohio in 2015.

That year saw 3,050 Ohioans die of overdoses. That's eight people a day. Meanwhile, 19,800 doses of naloxone, an opiate reversing medication, were administered in the same year, saving untold lives. (The number of doses administered this year is bound to climb as well as police departments equip their officers with the drug and more pharmacies began dispensing the drug without a prescription.)

Dialing into Cuyahoga County specifically in the current calendar year, authorities announced this week that August was the county's deadliest month for overdoses (52) in its entire history. September has already seen 14 more, which brings the current total to 330, more than all of 2015 combined with no end in sight: The Cuyahoga County medical examiner's office expects 500 more before the end of 2016, according to Cleveland.com.

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