Medical school researchers report on drug overdose deaths

The Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research (CITAR) at the Boonshoft School of Medicine has released an updated report on deaths from drug overdoses in Montgomery County, Ohio.

In it, scientists report that the number of unintentional drug overdose deaths increased 34.7 percent from 259 in 2015 to 349 in 2016. More than 90 percent of the deaths involved at least one opioid. The percentage of heroin mentions in overdose deaths went down from 45 percent in 2015 to 21 percent in 2016, the lowest percentage of heroin mentions since the Poisoning Death Review (PDR) was initiated in 2010. At that time, heroin was mentioned in 31 percent of the cases.

In 2016, there was an escalating impact of illicit fentanyl on overdose deaths in Montgomery County. There was a 134 percent increase, with 250 mentions of illicit fentanyl in 2016 compared to 107 in 2015.

Because of the surge, dozens of medical students have learned how to administer Naloxone to treat opiod overdoses.

The PDR report was compiled by a group of researchers led by Robert Carlson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and director of CITAR, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office and Public Health — Dayton and Montgomery County.

 

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