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Overdose Deaths Impact Montgomery County Public Health Ranking

Heroin Fentanyl Pills
Drug Enforcement Agency

A new report ranks Montgomery County near the bottom of the list of Ohio counties when it comes to public health. County officials say the dramatic increase in opioid overdoses is a contributing factor.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2017 County Health Ranking measures public health based on a variety of factors. These include the rate of teen births, smoking and obesity.

Montgomery County came in 77 out of Ohio’s 88 Counties - up three spots from last year.

County health officials say the rising drug overdose rate is keeping the county near the bottom of the list. Montgomery County has one of the highest overdose rates in the state, and it has only gotten worse over the past few years.

Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County spokesman Dan Suffoletto says the county is taking a community-based approach to the heroin epidemic.

“There’s a lot of different strategies involved, everything from law enforcement, to recovery, to education, to try to get people to stop using drugs in the first place, to everything in between.”

Despite the low ranking, Montgomery County has made strides in some areas. The report found decreases in the rate of adult smoking and increases in resident activity levels.

Other counties in the Miami Valley ranked higher in the report. Greene County secured the number 13 spot, while Miami County came in at number 26.