The Ohio Department of Health has released their report on 2016 drug overdose deaths. Although the number of overdose deaths across the state increased for the seventh straight year, Clermont County’s overdose death totals dropped for the first time since 2009.
In 2016, there were 96 deaths related to drug overdoses in the county, compared to a record-high of 105 in 2015.
The finding was just one of several released by the Ohio Department of Health in their 2016 Ohio Drug Overdose Data: General Findings.
While Clermont County did see a decrease in overdose deaths from 2015 to 2016, its death rate (based on a six year average from 2011-2016) remains near the highest in Ohio. Only Montgomery, Butler, and Brown counties have a higher rate.
Statewide, the number of drug overdose deaths increased by 32 percent, going from 3,050 in 2015 to 4,050 in 2016.
While the number of heroin related overdose deaths in Ohio remained somewhat steady, the number of fentanyl related overdose deaths more than doubled from 2015 to 2016. There were 1,155 overdose deaths in Ohio from fentanyl and related drugs in 2015, while that number increased to 2,357 deaths in 2016.
“We have a long way to go and would like to see these numbers continue to decline, but this is an encouraging start,” said Health Commissioner Julianne Nesbit. “The Opiate Task Force has been hard at work addressing the drug epidemic, and this is a small accomplishment for all of the work the members have done.”
“It is a sad reality, but without the use of naloxone, these numbers could be much higher,” said Nesbit. Clermont County Public Health, along with Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board have been instrumental in making naloxone more available to citizens in the county as well as local law enforcement and EMS agencies.
For more information on the Clermont County Opiate Task Force, visit their website at https://www.getcleannowclermont.org.