Local overdose death rate surges


Fayette County was one of the hardest-hit counties in Ohio with opioid overdose deaths during the second quarter of 2020, according to information from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office.

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.

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.

The hardest hit counties in the second quarter of 2020 were Scioto (35.22), Fayette (20.67) and Franklin (19.43).

“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.

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 analysis, which found an increase of deaths in 67 percent of Ohio’s counties, can be found at www.odh-heatmap-app.herokuapp.com/. The webpage shows the information via a map with numbers from 2010-2020.

The data is gathered by the Ohio Department of Health, which collects opioid overdose numbers. The data may lag by up to six months.

The following numbers are from the map showing the study data — yearly second quarter overdose rates from 2010 through 2020:

-From 2010 through 2013, Fayette County had a zero death rate per 100,000 population.

-In 2014 and 2015, the death rate per 100,000 was 3.44.

-In 2016, the death rate per 100,000 was 6.89.

-In 2017, the death rate per 100,000 was 13.78.

-In 2018 and 2019, the death rate per 100,000 was 10.33.

-In 2020, the death rate per 100,000 was 20.67.

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 which can be found at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Victims/SCOPE-safe-prescriptions-brochure.aspx.

Unsure about the signs of opioid abuse or addiction? More info can be found at www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Files/Publications-Files/Publications-for-Victims/Drug-Addiction-Affects-All-Ohioans.aspx.

For non-emergency assistance, call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services’ toll-free help line at 877-275-6364, text “4hope” to 741741 to reach the crisis line, or visit www.RecoveryIsBeautiful.org. A local option for assistance is to contact Pathways to Recovery at 740-335-7282 or reach out via the Hope Line at 740-463-1009. Pathways to Recovery is located at the Community Action Commission of Fayette County, 1400 N.W. US 22, Washington Court House.

https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2021/01/web1_drug-facts.jpgCourtesy photo
County opioid overdose death rate 2nd in state in 2nd quarter of 2020

Staff reports

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