ODH Works with CDC to Address Increase in Fentanyl-Related Drug Overdose Deaths
Unintentional fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths in Ohio increased by almost six-fold in one year, beginning in 2013. Late last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Health, analyzed available data to assess risk factors for overdose.
Yesterday, the CDC released a report that found the “risk factors for fentanyl-related overdose deaths included: male gender, white race, some college or less education, history of a substance abuse problem, and a
current mental health issue.”
Other risk factors, according to a Tuesday press release, include “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.”
Legal if prescribed, fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic opiate, often used during anesthesia, or to manage pain after surgery, according to the Ohio Department of Health. It is also up to 30 to 50 times more potent than
heroin, according to a press release from the ODH.
Ohio’s new initiatives to combat drug overdoses include investing an additional $500,000 per year to purchase naloxone (an overdose antidote), promoting drug takeback opportunities, and increasing public
aware campaigns to prevent drug abuse before it starts.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.