Coroner’s office releases overdose death statistics

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Coroner has released shocking new numbers about the local drug epidemic.

Officials have been tallying specific details about the 355 overdose deaths in 2016.

The numbers show the overwhelming majority were white people in their 30s.

Dayton was the city that saw the most fatal overdoses with 167. Followed by Harrison Township with 24 and Miami Township with 21.

To say the record number of overdose deaths is keeping the coroner’s office busy, is a drastic understatement.

“For the month of January, our case totals have completely gone out of control as far as our ability to handle this amount of workload,” said Montgomery county coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger.

According to him about 75 percent of the bodies they handle every month are those of people who’ve died from a drug overdose.

The most common drug found in victims is fentanyl, to which Narcan, the common antidote often times doesn’t work.

“We’re seeing nearly every fentanyl analog now and whether Narcan, the same doses can compete with that drug or not is a question. How much do we have to use now? So yes there are new fentanyl analogs in the community that are dangerous,” Harshbarger said.

Billy Brokschmidt is familiar with with the drug that’s 50 times stronger than heroin.

“I’ve overdosed where I’ve needed medical assistance on two occasions,” he said. “The first overdose happened to me with less than a tenth of a gram. Which is an extremely small amount.”

The 39-year-old has been clean for almost a year and is devoting his time now to helping others through “Families of Addicts” the local organization he said saved his life.

“For a lot of people the pain is insufficient once you’re uncomfortable enough you’ll seek help but the sad thing is, is a lot of people die before they find that point,” said Brokschmidt.

The Montgomery County Coroner, says he’s looking to rent space at funeral homes and area hospital morgues, should the overdose death rate continue.

Billy has been going to the “Families of Addicts” meetings in Dayton every week and according to him meeting sizes have grown significantly this year.

For more information on “Familes of Addicts” click here.

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