OHIO – Today August 31, 2021, we celebrate National Overdose Awareness day.
Overdose deaths have been said to not know any lifestyle, economic stature, age, or color of skin. Overdose can affect any family at any time.
Since the late 1990’s Opioid deaths have skyrocketed becoming the worst drug epidemic in modern American history. in 2017 there were over 47,000 opioid overdose deaths in the US. That’s more than all the automotive accidents and firearm-related homicides. A Majority of those deaths have been from Fentanyl a drug that you can find in any county in Ohio.
More Ohioans died of an opioid overdose during a three-month period last year than at any time since the epidemic began, according to an analysis by a task force created by Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost.
Counties in Southern Ohio who topped the overdose rate were Fayette, Scioto, Ross, and Gallia counties. Pickaway county rated at 10.77
The analysis by Yost’s Scientific Committee on Opioid Prevention and Education (SCOPE) found the death rate in Ohio from opioid overdose at 11.01 per 100,000 population in the second quarter of 2020 – the highest rate in 10 years. The previous 10-year high was in the first quarter of 2017 at 10.87 opioid overdoses per 100,000 population.“Opioid overdoses might have taken a backseat in our minds last year because of COVID-19, but make no mistake: Ohioans are dying at a devastating rate because of opioid overdoses,” Yost said, urging vigilance about how prescription drugs are stored and encouraging people to seek medical care in the event of an overdose – despite concerns about COVID-19.
Surprisingly, the record-setting spike came after Ohio experienced a significant drop in its opioid-related death rate, which had fallen to between 6 and 8 overdose deaths per 100,000 people over the prior 24-month period.“This is alarming data, and while COVID has rightly captured our attention, we cannot lose sight of the threat the opioid epidemic brings to all areas of Ohio,” Yost said.
The hardest-hit counties in the second quarter of 2020 were Scioto (35.22), Fayette (20.67), and Franklin (19.43).
The analysis, which found an increase of deaths in 67 percent of Ohio’s counties, can be found here.
The data is gathered by the Ohio Department of Health, which collects opioid overdose numbers. The data may lag by up to six months.
Addiction to opioids can start with a prescription being brought inside the home. Yost’s office has released guidelines on how to safely store prescription drugs inside your residence.
Did you know that Ohio was ranked fourth highest in the nation by the CDC in 2019 for overdose deaths? Anyone in Ohio can obtain free naloxone and overdose response education to potentially save a life. Fill out our form to learn more about naloxone and receive a free kit. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/requestakit