Unintentional drug overdoses are still on the rise in Montgomery County: new numbers released Tuesday by public health officials show unintentional drug deaths jumped from 162 in 2012 to 226 in 2013.
Overdoses have been increasing since 2010, but officials call the 71 percent jump in deaths “unprecedented."
Bill Wharton with Public Health Dayton and Montgomery County says it’s going to take everyone in the community to deal with the problem.
"We can’t stress too much that this is a community wide problem, and it has to be addressed by the community," Wharton said. "All those people that are dealing with many of the problems that oftentimes result in accidental deaths from overdose, uh, they need to pay particular attention right now and if they can get help for the family members right now, now is the time to do it."
Much of the increase in drug deaths was due to heroin. Its use has been on the rise in Dayton and surrounding communities like Eaton.
Along with the call for community-wide solutions, Montgomery County officials say they’ll continue efforts aimed at stopping accidental drug overdoses, such as billboards, public forums and additional drug programs.