Drug overdose deaths up in Butler County for 4th year in a row

Butler County coroner says there were 232 drug overdose deaths in 2017, an increase of nearly 21 percent. (WKRC)

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WKRC) - Drug overdose deaths, especially those involving heroin and/or fentanyl continue to rise in Butler County. That's according to coroner Dr. Lisa Mannix.

Of the 485 deaths the coroner's office was called to investigate in 2017, 232 were drug overdoses. That' nearly 21 percent more than the 2016 overdose total of 192.

Eighty-two percent of the drug overdose deaths were heroin-/fentanyl-/fentanyl analog-related. Carfentanil is a fentanyl analog. It's a synthetic drug similar to fentanyl but more potent.

Mannix said meth is on the rise again. Her office has seen four times as many overdose deaths involving methamphetamine since the year before. Deaths involving cocaine stayed about the same. Overdoses involving meth or cocaine often included fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.

"Sadly, 2017 is the fourth consecutive year my office has seen a rise in fatal drug overdoses," said Mannix in a news release. "The proliferation of fentanyl analogs and increase in methamphetamine have turned an already bad situation into something far worse. I am hopeful that by working together as a community, Butler County can reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses in 2018."

Total coroner calls: 800

Total coroner cases investigated: 485

  • Natural deaths: 127
  • Homicides: 11
  • Suicides: 45

Accidental deaths

  • Motor vehicle traffic crashes: 25
  • Other accidents: 25
  • Drug overdoses: 232
  • Undetermined: 20

In addition, Health Commissioner Jennifer Bailer said hepatitis C cases have increased 322 percent since 2002. HIV cases went up 46 percent in just four years.

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