2021 looking grim, too

Ohio reached a sad milestone today: the official overdose death count for 2020 went above 5,000 today.

This death toll is a record for Ohio and the first time overdose deaths have exceeded 5,000 in one year. The final tally for 2020 will likely be about 5,100 when the Ohio Department of Health finalizes the mortality data for the year in September.

2021 — A Terrible Start

The Ohio Department of Health has already confirmed 345 overdose deaths — more than the 336 deaths that occurred in January 2020 — and many more deaths have yet to be reported.

Overall, it’s too early to say for sure how things are going in 2021, but it appears another deadly year is underway.

Ohio counties with highest overdose death rates

Ohio’s southern counties continue to have horrific overdose death tolls.

But Franklin County, ranked at No. 8, is where overdose death is exploding. The county, Ohio’s most populous and home of Columbus, currently has recorded 797 deaths in 2020 and will exceed 800 deaths before the death files are closed. This level of death shatters the previous record of 598 overdose deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2017 and is far above Franklin County’s previous record of 547 in 2019.

In 2017, the geographic center for overdose death was in Dayton. Since then, it’s move eastward. The geographic center for overdose death is essentially located our state’s capital. 

Source: Harm Reduction Ohio analysis of Ohio Department of Health mortality database.

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