Overdoses more deadly than ever for new reasons

Overdoses more deadly than ever for new reasons

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A New York Times report released Monday says drug overdoses kill more Americans at a rate never before seen.

According to the report, 59,000 Americans died due a drug overdose in 2016, the largest annual jump in U.S. history.

In Toledo, police say they are also seeing a jump in overdoses, mostly due to more potent fentanyl on the streets.

An undercover officer on the heroin task force says the fentanyl is synthesized in China, shipped to Mexico and brought across the border. Then a network of deal buy the fentanyl.

Dr. Richard Forney, with the Lucas County Coroners Office says the drugs are both dangerous and highly addictive.

Lucas County is not the only coroner's office overwhelmed with overdose deaths. Coroners' offices throughout the state are feeling the impact of the heroin epidemic.

While Fentanyl is not a new, over the last three years there has been an uptick in drug seizures across the country. This statistic indicates it is growing in popularity among dealers and addicts.

It is partly to blame for the more than 59,000 overdose deaths reported in 2016, according to a New York times report this week.

"Any number of these cases with the analogues, the concentrations are so high so when that person used that drug, it was a fatality," Dr. Forney said.

Analogues, which are more potent than fentanyl, are pouring into northwest Ohio. Local police and the coroner's office are overwhelmed trying to keep up with the dealers, and the deaths.

Most of the time, analogues are sold on the street as heroin. And it's killing people by the thousands nationwide.

In the last six weeks, the Lucas County Coroners office had to put 3 cases on hold, because they couldn't identify one of the drugs that killed them.

"We didn't know what it was," said Robyn Shinaver, Supervisor of Toxicology for the Coroners Office. "It wasn't in our library. "Turns out it was
a form of fentanyl and it was the cause of the deadly overdose."

Shinaver says many of those dying from overdose look an awful lot like the person next door.

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