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Franklin County Saw Small Dip In Overdose Deaths So Far This Year

Naloxone is an antidote that can help reverse drug overdoses.
John Minchillo
Associated Press

Franklin County saw a small dip in overdose deaths in the first quarter of 2018, according to data released by the Franklin County Coroner's Office on Friday.

Franklin County saw 111 overdose deaths between January 1 and March 31, 2018. That’s a 13 percent drop from the same period last year.

Once again, the opioid fentanyl accounts for 67.5 percent of overdose deaths. Overall, opiates accounted for 84 percent of overdose deaths.

The West Side and Hilltop areas continue to be the most affected by overdoses, with others deaths concentrated in Grove City, Whitehall and German Village.

Credit Franklin County Coroner
The areas of Columbus most affected by drug overdoses so far in 2018.

In March, the county coroner reported 18 overdose deaths in one week, a "dramatic increase" from recent rates. That trend did not seem to hold, though.

In a press release, Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz credited the decrease in deaths to the increased availability of Narcan, an anti-overdose drug, and a decrease in supply thanks to recent seizures by law enforcement.

Credit Franklin County Coroner
Fentanyl is responsible for the bulk of overdose deaths once again.

The report wasn't all good news. Despite the recent dip, Franklin County has still seen a 35 percent increase in overdose deaths over the past two years. A total of 520 people died of overdoses in 2017, which was a 47 percent jump from 2016. 

CDC numbers show that Ohio recorded5,200 opioid overdose deaths between June 2016 and June 2017, 

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.