Franklin County coroner reports large increase in overdose deaths

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In this Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015 photo a nasal administered dose of Narcan is seen in school nurse Kathleen Gage’s Pilgrim High School office Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, in Warwick, R.I. A new state law requires middle schools and high schools to stock Narcan, which can reverse the effects of an overdose of drugs such […]

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Franklin County Coroner Anahi Ortiz M.D. says overdose fatalities increased 55% during the first quarter of 2020, compared to the same time period last year.

Dr. Ortiz said the rise on overdose deaths started even before COVID-19 started to affect us.

According to a report from the coroner’s office, there was a 74.4% increase in overdose deaths in January, 117.9% in February and 10.7% in March. All figures are compared to the corresponding month in 2019.

There were a total of 191 overdose deaths in the first quarter of 2020, versus 123 in 2019.

For the first quarter of 2020, 70.2% (134) of the drug overdose deaths tested positive for Fentanyl, followed by Cocaine at 41.4% (79), Methamphetamine at 13.6% (26) and Alcohol at 13.1% (25), according to the coroner.

The most common zip code for overdose deaths is 43223, with 10.5%. That zip code includes the Hilltop neighborhood, parts of southwest Columbus and Franklin Township.


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