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County Coroners See Overdose Fatalities Continue To Rise


Local county coroners are still pulling together totals for 2015 drug overdose fatalities, but most are already reporting higher numbers than the year before.


Clark, Greene, and Warren Counties counties all saw an increase in overdose fatalities in 2015 due to heroin and other opiate usage.


The exception, so far, is Montgomery County, where overdose death were down. The coroner there, Dr. Kent Harshbarger, says use of the anti-overdose medicine Narcan could be responsible for some of the decrease.


“We believe one of the prime explanations is the use of Narcan deployed in the streets of Dayton with the EMS and Dayton police department, because the smaller counties who have not employed it as completely are still seeing the increases,” he said.


Harshbarger says there was an upward trend in November and December but, as in other counties, year-end cases are still being investigated so it will be some time before final numbers are released.


Butler County also saw an increase in drug overdose deaths this year. 2014 totals include 103 heroin related deaths. As of September, 2015 the county saw 108. The final number is expected to rise.


This week the Ohio Pharmacy Board gave the okay for one Butler County pharmacy to sell Narcan over the counter without a prescription.


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.