Ohio county considers adding 2nd morgue for surge in opioid overdose deaths

An Ohio county is considering opening a second morgue to accommodate the high number of drug overdose deaths at the beginning of February, according to an ABC News report.

Franklin County in Ohio has seen close to 30 deaths suspected to be a result of opioid overdoses between Jan. 31 and Feb. 9. On one day during that period, there were 10 overdose deaths in the county.

In the last two years, Franklin County has seen a 10 percent rise in overdose deaths. County coroner Anahi M. Ortiz, MD, told ABC News he believes an increase in fentanyl use is driving the rise in overdose deaths.

The county coroner's office has had to make several changes, including switching the freezer over to a cooler to accommodate more bodies at the morgue and asking hospitals to hold on to dead bodies while their office processes the deaths.

"And we have several times been to the point where we're thinking of calling for a temporary morgue," Dr. Ortiz told ABC.

The rise in overdose deaths is taking a "physical and emotional toll on everyone," Dr. Ortiz told ABC.

The coroner's office plans to get a counselor to hold sessions at the office regularly.

More articles on opioids:
Curbing opioid prescriptions should center on pain management as most physicians stick to guidelines, study shows
Medicaid expansion linked to drop in opioid overdose deaths
How Houston Methodist reduced opioid prescriptions by nearly 77%

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