On the front lines

STRATEGIES THAT LOCAL COMMUNITIES ARE UNDERTAKING TO ADDRESS OHIO’S OPIOID EPIDEMIC

Ohio is at the forefront of the U.S. opioid epidemic. A recent survey of county coroners by the Columbus Dispatch found that the state had over 4,149 overdose deaths in 2016 – an increase of 36 percent from the previous year. Most of these deaths were opioid related. The state led the U.S. in opioid related deaths in 2015 with 3,3681. New York, a state with nearly double the population of Ohio, was second with 2,431. Of Ohio’s deaths, 1,444 were caused by heroin, 1,234 by synthetic opioids like fentanyl, and 690 were from opioid pills such as Oxycontin. As these numbers illustrate, this is a crisis that is the result of not just one drug, but many.