December highest month for overdoses in 2016, local mother of addict reacts

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KETTERING, Ohio (WDTN) –  In December Montgomery County saw more opiate overdoses than any other month in 2016, a surprising statistic for officials.

An estimated 179 people overdosed in December of 2016 marking it as the highest month for the year.

Sheriff Phil Plummer says the numbers don’t make sense anymore and ‘usually the winter time is slow’.

Dorothy Crafton of Kettering says the epidemic in the Miami Valley is why she sent her son, Nick to treatment in Florida.

“At one point with Nick I expected a phone call that I was going to be told my son is dead,” she said.

She says Nick started using at 21-years-old and over six years he’s relapsed four times. His last relapse happened over Christmas just before he was about to come home from Florida for the holiday.

“I just knew in my heart if Nick stayed here, I would have a dead son,” said an emotional Crafton.

Sheriff Plummer tells 2 NEWS reporter, Maytal Levi he’s tired of talking about the epidemic. He says it’s depressing despite law enforcement and county efforts the problem hasn’t gotten better. In fact, he says it’s gotten worse.

2 NEWS did the math on average for 2016 five people overdoses every day.

Levi asked Plummer, “What’s your strategy to combat the problem in 2017?” He replied, “Really working on getting addicts into treatment. We will drive addicts to treatment facilities and being tougher on dealers. We also do countywide sweeps on a monthly basis. We will be doing those more regularly.”

As for Nick, his mother hopes this is the last time he relapses.

“I’m grateful today he’s in a program. It has to be his decision and as a mother that’s the hardest, hardest thing,” said Crafton.2016 overdose calls in the county:

  • January: 105
  • February: 105
  • March: 178
  • April: 134
  • May: 176
  • June: 125
  • July: 140
  • August: 140
  • September: 157
  • October: 137
  • November: 143
  • December: 179

2 NEWS is waiting to get overdose death numbers from the coroner and will update you when we do. Plummer says without Narcan (a drug that reverses the effects of an overdose) the death toll would be triple.

In 2015, there were 259 overdose deaths in Montgomery County.

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