Six counties with highest death rates in southeastern Ohio
Two counties have reported zero overdose deaths

This table below shows the number of overdose deaths and the death rates reported so far in each of Ohio’s 88 counties.  

Scioto County (Portsmouth) continues to have Ohio’s worst overdose death rate, a sad position it has held for several years.

The next five counties with the highest levels of overdose death — Meigs, Vinton, Pike, Gallia and Ross — are also located in south and southeastern Ohio. The seventh ranked county — Trumbull County (Warren) — is in northeast Ohio.

Franklin County (Columbus) has reported the most overdoses (560) so far in 2020, followed by Cuyahoga (Cleveland), Hamilton (Cincinnati), Montgomery (Dayton) and Butler (Middleton/Fairfield).

Franklin County ranks only 17th in its overdose death rate. However, this is somewhat deceiving because overdose death has been soaring in the county and is concentrated in several zip codes that have high numbers of African American residents.  Low overdose death rates in affluent areas of Franklin County dilute the county’s overall overdose death rate and mask the intensity of overdose death now occurring in parts of Ohio’s most populous county.

Two Ohio counties — Auglaize and Monroe — have reported no overdose deaths in 2020. Auglaize (Wapakoneta) is in northeast Ohio and has a population of 45,500; Monroe (Woodsfield) is in eastern Ohio, on the West Virginia border, and has a population of 13,500.

Please note that these are preliminary figures. About 15% of overdose deaths, mostly from the last three months of 2020, have yet to be recorded in the Ohio Department of Health mortality database. The final mortality numbers for 2020 will be completed in August or September of 2021.

In the data used here, a total of 3,986 overdose deaths are recorded so far in 2020. The final death will be between 4,500 and 5,000.

Tracking the numbers as they are reported is important because it gives us a timely understanding of what is happening.

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