A report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) examines the increase of fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths in Ohio.
Unintentional deaths from the opiate jumped from 84 in 2013 to a staggering 502 in 2014.
The state subsequently asked the CDC to look into the rise. The CDC concluded that risk factors for overdose deaths related to fentanyl – which is 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin – include: male gender, white race, some college or less education, history of a substance abuse problem, and a current mental health issue.
A news release by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) further explains:
“Additional risk factors included recent release from an institution within the last month (e.g. jail, hospital, or treatment facility), and a history of a high-dose opioid prescription. The report offers recommendations addressing public health surveillance, response in high-burden counties and high-risk groups, enhancing EMS response, enhancing layperson response, improving prescribing practices and referring patients to treatment, reducing stigma around substance abuse and treatment, integrating prevention services, and public health messaging. The full CDC report can be found here.”
Ohio is now in the midst of fighting the abuse of opiates, including fentanyl. Over the past few years, we’ve seen modest progress.
For example, in 2015, the total doses of opiates dispensed to Ohio patients dropped by 11.6 percent.
Strategies and tactics to combat opiate abuse can be found here.