DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Drug overdoses hit an all-time high last year. According to new reports from the CDC, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2020, it’s a nearly 30 percent increase from 2019.
The report estimates that an average of more than 250 deaths occurred each day, or roughly 11 every hour. It’s estimated that fentanyl was involved in more than 60 percent of all deaths nationwide.
Dayton Police said the issue is hitting hot spots across Montgomery County. “It’s no longer an opioid issue. This is straight fentanyl,” said Major Brian Johns.
There were 5,215 overdose deaths in Ohio reported in 2020. The Montgomery County Coroner’s Office reported 323 in 2020, and there are already 199 reported in 2021.
“When we began it was only in East Dayton, then it began to spread to the suburbs, and now we see a lot occurring in West Dayton,” Major Johns said.
“There is an overall rise, but the biggest trend for us is that we have a week where it’s a huge spike and it’s probably because there’s something in the marketplace that’s much more potent,” said Dr. Kent Harshbarger, the Montgomery County Coroner.
Officials said the fentanyl they are finding is often manufactured and put into pills that are formed to look like other, less deadly drugs.
“Be careful on what you use because we’re finding fentanyl in cocaine, we’re finding fentanyl in meth, and what is also scary is we’re finding fentanyl being in homemade pressed pills,” Major Johns said.
Those looking to contact Montgomery County’s Alcohol, Drug Addiction, & Mental Health Services for help can click here.
To find out more about Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County’s addiction services, click here.