Overdose numbers remain at crisis level locally, despite national drop

TOLEDO While the State of Ohio is likely to see it's first overdose death drop ever, Lucas County and Northwest Ohio are still seeing the numbers go up year after year. According to numbers released by the Lucas County Coroner, Opioid Deaths jumped from 86 in 2014 to 227 in 2018. Newly released numbers from the Coroners Office also show that the 20 NW Ohio Counties and 1 SE Michigan County opioid related overdose deaths went from 8 in 2010 to 433 in 2018.

The Tennessee Attorney General sued opioid maker Endo Pharmaceuticals and Endo Health Solutions Inc. on Tuesday./ Source: MGN

That puts NW Ohio among the lead per capita when it comes to overdose deaths related to heroin and opioids. Dr. Robert Forney Ph.D is a Toxicologist with the Lucas County Coroners office and says "This is a major crisis. Police and fire from January through July 8th made almost one thousand runs for overdoses. The amount of money being spent on naloxone is back breaking, it is enormous."

And that's just the economic impact. The human cost Forney says is even greater. "The amount of sadness, the amount of hurt, the amount of theft, the amount of broken homes, the amount of orphaned kids, the amount of abused kids." And Forney says "There's more lethal stuff on the street, so that those are are addicted are in greater danger."

Andrew Masters is a Counselor with Midwest Recovery and says "We're just treating the symptoms and we're not treating the underlying causes." While addiction is a disease of physical dependence, it is precipitated so often by mental health issues. "What fueled the addiction, the trauma, the abuse the things that happen early in our lives, which led to the addiction in the first place."