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Drug Overdoses Continue To Rise In Montgomery County

Drug_Needle_-_Thomas_Marthinsen.jpg
Thomas Marthinsen

Drug overdose deaths are still on the rise in Montgomery County according to first quarter 2016 numbers.

The Montgomery County Poisoning Death Review tracks and analyzes unintentional drug overdose deaths. According to its report, early 2016 saw a 130% increase in the number of drug overdose deaths in the County compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The report indicates a 26% increase in deaths from illicit Fentanyl in the community. 

Contained in the report is also an urgent call by healthcare groups to “increase Naloxone distribution and to link drug users to treatment.” 

They suggest that “family members of persons at risk of a drug overdose or those using opiates should consider carrying Naloxone,” the anti-overdose medication credited with saving numerous lives.

The healthcare groups behind the Poisoning Death Review include Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County and the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, working with Wright State University and the Boonshoft School of Medicine, Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research

In a joint press release on Monday, Jeff Cooper, health Commissioner with Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County reiterated that the epidemic will need to be addressed on all fronts.

“There is an urgent need in the community to work collaboratively to address this continued epidemic,” he said.  “By utilizing a network of programs and services that are integrated with one another, we hope to see a reduction of deaths through overdose.”

Rising overdose rates aren't exclusive to Montgomery County and collaborations are also taking place, not only at the state level, but between states.

On Wednesday Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O'Connor  opened a three-day conference in Cincinnati that is addressing rising death-rates in other states as well.  Joining Ohio in the summit are Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.

Ohio, Kentucky and west Virginia were among five states that had the highest deaths due to drug overdoses.

The goal of the conference is look at best practices for drug treatment, and how states might share prescription drug data. States will also look at ways of working across borders and jurisdictions.