CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Overdose deaths from the powerful painkiller fentanyl have overtaken heroin deaths in Hamilton County, Coroner Lakshmi Sammarco announced this week.
In a press conference Monday, she said overdose deaths in the county totaled 414 in 2015. That's about a 40 percent increase over the previous year.
Sammarco said 238 deaths were fentanyl-related and 198 were heroin-related.
A coroner's spokesman added that there was some overlap, with some of those deaths involving both drugs.
Sammarco said heroin overdoses increased 12 percent over 2014 while fentanyl-related deaths increased by 153 percent.
Many users don't know there's fentanyl in their heroin, which makes it more potent and requires less to cause death, she noted.
The coroner is calling for more treatment facilities and programs that specifically reach out to inmates.