Franklin County first Ohio county to exceed 600 deaths in single year
Scioto County remains deadliest for drug overdoses

Twenty five of Ohio’s 88 counties have already reported record overdose deaths in 2020. A few more counties will join this unfortunate list by the time Ohio’s 2020 death data is completed this summer. Among 2020’s sad news:
  • Franklin County (Columbus) is the first Ohio county ever to exceed 600 overdose deaths in a single year.
  • Scioto County (Portsmouth) set a record for the highest overdose death rate of any Ohio county in Ohio history — ever.
  • Black residents died from drug overdoses in unprecedented numbers — more than 3x the number of deaths than in 2014. The counties of Franklin, Mahoning (Youngstown) and Summit (Akron) broke records for deaths of Black residents.
In total, Ohio is on track to record about the same number of overdose deaths in 2020 as it did in the previous record year of 2017. The big difference is deaths among Black Ohioans is way up while deaths among white Ohioans is down slightly. Also, deaths are way up among cocaine and meth users and down among heroin users (and probably opioid users as a group).

Source: Harm Reduction Ohio analysis of Ohio Department of Health mortality data as of January 28, 2021. Final death rates will be slightly higher because about 10% of 2020 deaths have yet to be recorded. 

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