1/8/16 - Ohio Ranks Second in Drug Overdose Deaths

According to a newly released report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 2014 saw the most overdose deaths in U.S. history with over 47,000 deaths.  The Buckeye State ranked second for drug overdose deaths in the country with 2,744 deaths in 2014.  California had the most overall deaths, with 4,521 in 2014.

For Ohio, those deaths are an 18.3 percent increase over 2013, when 2,347 deadly overdoses occurred.  Ohio also had the 5th highest overdose death rate (24.6 per 100,000 people) behind West Virginia (35.5) New Mexico (27.3), New Hampshire (26.2), and Kentucky (24.7).  

The CDC signals opioids, including heroin and prescription painkillers, as the "main driver" of the country's overdose death count, totaling 47,055 last year. Opioids accounted for 28,647 U.S. deaths in 2014 -- or 61 percent -- quadrupling since 2000.  

Heroin death rates have more than tripled in four years, the report says, with rates increasing by 26 percent from 2013 to 2014.  Overdose death rates for synthetic opioids, including fentanyl and synthetic pain relievers manufactured illegally, increased by 80 percent since 2014.

"The 2014 data demonstrate that the United States' opioid overdose epidemic includes two distinct but interrelated trends: a 15-year increase in overdose deaths involving prescription opioid pain relievers and a recent surge in illicit opioid overdose deaths, driven largely by heroin," the report stated.

Find the full report here.