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Health & Science

CDC Says Overdose Deaths Continue to Climb in Ohio

A photo of opioid pain pills.

It’ll be a while before the state puts out new official numbers on Ohio’s deadly opioid crisis. But the federal Centers for Disease Control says it has new stats that show the epidemic is nowhere close to slowing down.

The CDC says the number of deadly overdoses in Ohio soared 39 percent from July of 2016 to last July. That’s more than twice as much as the national increase in deadly overdoses in that same period. Lori Criss is the CEO of the Ohio Council of Behavioral Health Providers, and she says prevention services are underfunded and that treatment options need to be continued because recovery can take three to five years.

“Until we start really investing in that full range of services over a zero-to-five-year time period, we’ll be caught in the same cycle.”

Criss notes that overdose deaths are increasing not just for opioids, but for other drugs such as meth and cocaine – into which the deadly opioid fentanyl can be mixed.