Drug overdoses killed 4,329 Ohioans in 2016, the second-highest death rate in the nation, reported The Crime Report. That’s up 24 percent over the 3,310 drug deaths the previous year, according to a report released Thursday by the federal government, reports the Columbus Dispatch. Despite increased government spending, Ohio’s rate of drug-overdose deaths, 39.1 per 100,000 people, trailed only West Virginia’s 52 per 100,000 population.
The powerful and deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl is largely to blame for the exploding number of deaths, according the National Centers for Health Statistics. “We’ve got a big problem in Ohio,” said Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg. First responders in Dublin had to use two doses of the drug antidote naloxone to revive a 20-year-old man earlier this week and 11 doses to revive another man last month, suggesting they’d taken fentanyl. Statewide, emergency responders have administered more than 43,000 doses of naloxone this year, up from 31,800 in all of 2016.
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