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Franklin County Coroner: Overdose Deaths Increased In First Part Of 2019

Jacquelyn Martin
Associated Press

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office says the number of fatal overdoses during the first nine months of 2019 grew from the same period the year before.

County Coroner Anahi Ortiz on Monday reported that her office recorded 421 drug deaths through September 2019 – that’s a 15% increase from the first nine months of 2018.

Ortiz says that opioids were responsible for 90% of overdose deaths. As usual, fentanyl proved the most deadly, accounting for 83.6% of all overdose deaths.

Another 3.5% of the deaths were attributed to carfentanil, and 7.6% from heroin.

In many cases, fatal drug overdoses were attributed to a mixture of multiple drugs. A combination of cocaine and fentanyl was responsible for more than a third (35%) of overdose deaths during that period.

Overdose deaths occured the most in the zip codes 43211, 43207, 43229, 43204 and 43232, which comprise the neighborhoods of Linden, the South Side, Northland, Hilltop and Eastland.

Caucasians made up two-thirds of overdose death victims, compared to 28% African American and 3% Hispanic.

Meanwhile, men continue make up almost 70% of overdose death victims. More than half of victims were between 30-49 years old.

The coroner also says the victims were individuals who died in the county but may have lived elsewhere.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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.