Lawrence County seeing an increase in deaths from overdose | News

Ironton — Lawrence County, Ohio Coroner’s Office warns the community about a surprising increase in fatal overdose in the county.

Eight fatal overdose cases have been identified in the last 30 days, and the other four suspected cases have a total of 12 autopsies and test results pending. Only 25 people have died from overdose in the county over the last 12 months. Previously, there were only four overdose in 30 days, according to a news release from Dr. Ben Mack of Coroner.

In most cases, multiple substances are involved. However, the drug fentanyl is the main cause of all deaths.

“The dangerous drug fentanyl was the deadly cause in all these cases. Mixtures of methamphetamine and other substances have also been repeatedly observed, revealing that fentanyl and methamphetamine are the most common combination. This drug combination is commonly sold on the street as a “speedball”. The reason fentanyl is so deadly is that it is significantly more potent than other opioids like heroin. “

Deaths occurred throughout the county, from Ironton and Cole Grove to South Point and Proctorville. Victims ranged in age from 22 to 61 years.

The Autopsy Office is working with the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office and the County Prosecutor’s Office to warn the community about the increase.

“We are actively investigating all leads and contacts in our efforts to track the sources of these deadly substances,” Sheriff Jeff Laures said in a release. ..

While discouraging the use of illegal substances, Mack hopes to serve as a warning to those who pay close attention to small doses, drug bans, and the acquisition of the drug naloxone, which reverses overdose. He said he was.

“We are currently using faster and safer lab technology from oral fluid samples, which allows us to get results usually within 72 hours instead of the previous two weeks of turnaround time,” Mack said. This allows law enforcement agencies to link cases and determine the cause of these deaths, allowing them to identify and quantify the drugs involved more quickly. We hope to warn of the increased risk of drug use in our area and guide addicts to look for resources for recovery. “

Across the river in West Virginia, Cabell County has not seen an increase in deaths from recent overdose, said Connie Pridy, Cabell County EMS Coordinator.

Fentanyl has lived in the area for a long time, Pridi said. As Mack said, heroin was mostly fentanyl at this point and was found in stimulants, she said.

Fatal overdose increased in 2020 Nationwide. After a two-year decline, the latest interim data available from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that approximately 81,230 drug overdose deaths occurred in the United States in the 12 months to May 2020. The 12-month period recorded so far.

Reporter Taylor stack can be reached at tstuck@hdmediallc.com.. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook at @TaylorStuckHD.

Lawrence County seeing an increase in deaths from overdose | News

Source link Lawrence County seeing an increase in deaths from overdose | News

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