WYSO

Counties On Track For Record Number Of Overdose Deaths, Again

May 23, 2017

Health officials in both Montgomery and Clark Counties say this year in on pace to double the number of opioid-overdose deaths seen last year. If trends continue, the Montgomery County coroner's office says there could be more accidental overdose deaths in just the first half of 2017 than any previous full year on record.

 

National Overdose Deaths—Number of Deaths from Opioid Drugs. The figure above is a bar chart showing the total number of U.S. overdose deaths involving opioid drugs from 2002 to 2015. Included in this number are opioid analgesics, along with heroin and other drugs.
Credit www.drugabuse.gov/

In 2016 Montgomery County officials reported nearly 350 overdose deaths – a record-high. This year, the county has already reported around 300 deaths.

 

Based on these numbers, officials say the county could total as many as 800 overdose deaths by the end of 2017. And Clark County officials say they are also on track to break last year’s overdose death record.

 

Coroner Richard Marsh says Clark County has already counted 68 “probable but unconfirmed” overdose-drug deaths. That’s quickly approaching the 79 total confirmed overdose deaths in all of 2016.

 

Clark County has so far confirmed 38 drug overdose deaths this year.

 

The so-called 9-1-1 Good Samaritan law gives immunity to people who seek medical assistance for a suspected drug overdose.

 

But county officials want addicts to know the 2016 immunity law doesn’t apply to people who have overdosed three or more times.