1k more Ohioans died of drug overdoses in 2016 than 2015: 5 things to know


Ohio experienced 4,050 drug overdose deaths in 2016, most of which involved fentanyl or its extremely potent analogues, according to a new report from the Ohio Department of Health.

Here are five things to know.

1. The new count marks a 1,000-case increase in overdose deaths from 2015's total of 3,050.

2. Fentanyl, or one of its analogues, was involved in 58.2 percent of all overdose deaths in the state for 2016, compared to 19.8 percent in 2015. In 2012, the percentage was just 3.9 percent.

3. Carfentanil, a correlate of fentanyl that is 10,000 times more potent than morphine, was linked to 340 overdose deaths in 2016.

4. Cocaine-related overdose deaths rose by 61.9 percent from 685 in 2015 to 1,109 in 2016. More than 80 percent of cocaine-related overdoses involved an opioid.

5. The number of overdose deaths related to prescription opioids dropped 15.4 percent from 667 in 2015 to 564 in 2016.

"The continued increase in opioid-related deaths reaffirms that we still have much work to do, but Ohio is seeing important progress in reducing the number of prescription opioids available for abuse and prescription-related overdose deaths," said Mark Hurst, MD, medical director of the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and interim medical director of ODH. "This progress is significant because prescription opioid abuse is frequently a gateway to heroin and fentanyl use later on."

More articles on opioids: 
'Out in front' — How healthcare leaders can help solve the opioid crisis 
7-day opioid prescription limits take effect in Ohio 
Millennials less likely to turn to opioids compared to other generations

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