Preliminary 2023 Report: The 20 Ohio counties with highest overdose death rates last year

About 75% of overdose deaths that occurred in Ohio in 2023 have been documented and entered into Ohio’s mortality database.

So far, overdose deaths are on track to decline about 4% from the 4,915 overdose deaths recorded in 2022.

These 20 counties suffered the highest rates of overdose death aong our state’s 88 counties based on 3,746 overdose deaths confirmed so far in 2023. Hardest hit counties are in southern Ohio, plus the Youngstown-Warren area in Ohio’s industrial northeast.

In 2022, Vinton County, our state’s least populated county, had the highest overdose death rate while Scioto County (Portsmouth) ranked second. That has reversed this year: Scioto has the worst overdose death rate following by Vinton. Tough times continue in Ohio’s Appalachian counties.

A few counties have had noticeable drops in overdose death over the last few years, according to preliminary overdose death data for 2023 and final data for 2022 and earlier years. Counties that have seen noteworthy declines in overdose deaths in the last few years compared to other counties include Lucas (Toledo), Richland (Mansfield) and Butler (north of Cincinnati).



Dennis Cauchon

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