Dayton-Area Drug Deaths May Set New Annual Record…by June

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DAYTON, Ohio (AP) – A coroner’s office says the Ohio county that includes Dayton might see more accidental drug overdose deaths in the first half of this year than in any previous full year.

The Dayton Daily News reports that Montgomery County had a record-high 349 overdose deaths during 2016, most involving heroin or fentanyl. It’s already seen about 300 overdose deaths this year. The coroner’s office director, Ken Betz, says the county could have 700 to 800 overdose deaths by year’s end if that pace continues.

It’s a stark sign of the toll of opiates and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and Ohio has been hit hard. Statewide, there were a record 3,050 overdose deaths last year. Many of those were attributed to painkillers and heroin abuse.