Hiram College

Ohio Department of Health Releases 2012 Drug Overdose Data


Unintentional drug overdoses caused 1,914deaths in Ohio in 2012 — surpassing the previous highest number (1,765) in 2011 by 8.4 percent — according to a new report released today by the Ohio Department of Health (ODH).

 According to ODH, heroin-involved deaths increased from 16 percent (233) in 2008 to 35.5 percent (680) of all drug overdoses, reinforcing the need for ongoing efforts to combat both the supply and demand of illegal drugs in Ohio.

 At the same time, data show that the number of deaths from unintended overdoses of prescription opiates declined in 2012 for the first time since 2003. ODH researchers reported a 12 percent reduction in prescription drug overdoses compared to 2011 (697 deaths in 2012 vs. 789 deaths in 2011).

“Ohio’s making a difference against prescription drug abuse because so many people have come together at the local and state level, in education, law enforcement, health care and the treatment community. When we make up our mind to do something important like this we can do it. We need to remember that as Ohio continues to work with its partners to combat illegal drugs like heroin, it’s clear that the problems we once saw in prescription drugs are, in part, migrating to illegal drugs,” said Lance Himes, Interim Director of the Ohio Department of Health. “Ohio’s Start Talking! campaign has been well received and its mission, as well as the work of so many other state and local leaders on drug abuse prevention, is essential if we want to see the same drop in illegal drug deaths as we’re seeing in prescription drug deaths.”


Source:  OhioMHAS, April18, 2014.