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Overdoses Still Climbing In Montgomery County

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Unintentional drug overdoses are still on the rise in Montgomery County: new numbers released Tuesday by public health officials show unintentional drug deaths jumped from 162 in 2012 to 226 in 2013.

Overdoses have been increasing since 2010, but officials call the 71 percent jump in deaths “unprecedented."

Bill Wharton with Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County says it’s going to take everyone in the community to deal with the problem.

"We can’t stress too much that this is a community wide problem, and it has to be addressed by the community," Wharton said. "All those people that are dealing with many of the problems that oftentimes result in accidental deaths from overdose, uh, they need to pay particular attention right now and if they can get help for the family members right now, now is the time to do it."

Much of the increase in drug deaths was due to heroin. Its use has been on the rise in Dayton and surrounding communities like Eaton.

Along with the call for community-wide solutions, Montgomery County officials say they’ll continue efforts aimed at stopping accidental drug overdoses, such as billboards, public forums and additional drug programs.

Jerry Kenney was introduced to WYSO by a friend and within a year of first tuning in became an avid listener and supporter. He began volunteering at the station in 1991 and began hosting Alpha Rhythms in February of 1992. Jerry joined the WYSO staff in 2007 as a host of All Things Considered and soon transitioned into hosting Morning Edition. In addition to now hosting All Things Considered, Jerry is the host and producer of WYSO Weekend, WYSO's weekly news and arts magazine. He has also produced several radio dramas for WYSO in collaboration with local theater companies. Jerry has won several Ohio AP awards as well as an award from PRINDI for his work with the WYSO news department. Jerry says that the best part of his job is being able to talk to people in the community and share their experiences with WYSO listeners.