COLUMBUS, Ohio — The state of Ohio has been topping a list no one wants to be on.
In 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control, Ohio was second in the nation for drug overdose death rates. The Ohio Department of Health says numbers for 2018 have dropped, significantly.
“Yes, I think that's great. I think Ohio has worked a great deal on prescribing habits and putting more money into treatment, Narcan, etc. It's working,” said Franklin County Coroner, Dr. Anahi Ortiz.
In 2017 there were 4,854 across the state who died from unintentional drug overdoses. The good news? That number dropped to about 3,764 in 2018.
“Overall for Ohio, for some of the areas that have been really hard hit, it is encouraging. In Montgomery County, it was devastation. They've improved in the numbers,” Dr. Ortiz explained.
In Northeast Ohio, Cuyahoga County saw the number of unintentional drug overdoses drop from 598 in 2017 to 443 in 2018. In Summit County, the number dropped from 239 to 128.
You can see your county's statistics by clicking here.
While the overall numbers are great news for the state, Franklin County hasn't seen the same drop.
“The first three quarters of 2019 and compared them to 2018. We're up about 12% from last year in terms of the number of folks who have died from overdoses,” said Dr. Ortiz.
The Franklin County Coroner says she has seen a significant change in deaths. She says she's seeing fewer heroin deaths and more deaths from cocaine. In fact, she says so far this year, 40% of overdose deaths are from cocaine. She hopes parents will still take the time to talk to kids about drug use before they end up in her office.
“I think a good honest-to-god talk with your kids on using any kind of substances,” Dr. Ortiz said.