CINCINNATI – The Tri-State showed among the highest rates in the country for drug overdose deaths with 8,519 in 2017, according to a government report released Thursday.
Ohio came in No. 2 and Kentucky No. 5 in drug overdose deaths per 100,000 people, and Indiana was 14th according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
There were 5,111 drug overdose deaths in the Buckeye State last year. That ranked Ohio second to West Virginia for the second straight year with 46.3 overdose deaths per 100,000 - an 18 percent increase from 2016.
In Kentucky, drugs claimed 1,556 people, making the overdose death rate 37.2 per 100,000 people.
In Indiana, 1,852 died of drug overdoses for a death rate of 29.4 per 100,000.
All three states were well about the national death rate from drug overdoses (21.7 per 100,000 people).
Across the US, there were 70,327 drug overdose deaths in 2017 - an increase of 9.6 percent from 2016. For comparison sake, there were 40,100 traffic accident deaths in the US last year.
The increase in drug overdose deaths was spurred by a 45 percent jump in cases involving synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs and tramadol, and excluding meth, according to the CDC. Those accounted for 9.0 deaths per 100,000 in 2017.
The death rates for meth (1.0), heroin (4.9), and natural and semisynthetic opioids such as oxycodone and hydrocodone (4.4) did not increase from 2016.
Other findings included:
The 55-64 age group has had the greatest increase in overdose deaths since 1999. That group was up 640 percent – from 4.2 deaths per 100,000 to 28.0.
Males had a higher rate of overdose deaths (29.1 per 100,000) than females (14.4) last year.
Adults aged 25-54 had higher rates of drug overdose deaths than those aged 15-24 and 65-over. Here’s the breakdown:
- 15-24: 12.6 per 100,000
- 25-34: 38.4
- 35-44: 39.0
- 45-54: 37.7
- 55-64: 28.0
- 65-over: 6.9
FOLLOW all of WCPO's coverage of the opioid epidemic called "Conquering Addiction" at wcpo.com/heroin .