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Your Voice Ohio is a collaborative effort to produce more relevant, powerful journalism based on the needs and ambitions of Ohioans and Ohio communities. Your Voice Ohio is an initiative of WYSO and more than 30 news organizations across Ohio.

Report Says Overdose Deaths Up, Crisis Far From Over

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Karen Kasler

It’ll be a while before the state puts out new official numbers on Ohio’s deadly opioid crisis. However, the federal Centers for Disease Control says it has new stats that show the epidemic is nowhere close to slowing down.
The CDC says the number of deadly overdoses in Ohio soared 39 percent from July of 2016 to last July. That’s more than twice as much as the national increase in deadly overdoses in that same period.

Lori Criss is the CEO of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health Providers. She says prevention services are underfunded and that treatment options need to be continued because recovery can take 3-5 years.

 
“Until we start really investing in that full range of services over a 0-5 year time period, we’ll be caught in the same cycle,” she adds.
 
And Criss notes that overdose deaths are increasing not just for opioids, but for other drugs such as meth and cocaine – which the deadly opioid fentanyl can be mixed into.