Butler Coroner: overdose deaths rise for fourth straight year

Butler Coroner: overdose deaths rise for fourth straight year
Source: WXIX

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The Butler County Coroner's Office says they've seen an increase in overdose deaths.

Butler County Coroner Dr. Lisa Mannix spoke at a press conference Tuesday and said that the county experienced 232 overdose deaths in 2017.

Those deaths add to an upward trend that has seen increases since 2012, officials say.

Of those 232 deaths, 191 of those, or 82 percent, were fentanyl, fentanyl analog, or heroin related, said the coroners office.

Fentanyl analog is a is a synthetically manufactured drug with compounds similar to fentanyl but has the potential to be much more potent, officials say.

The coroner's office says the number of overdose deaths in 2017 is a 20.8 percent increase over 2016 which saw a total of 192 overdose deaths in Butler County.

More than 20 perfect of the 232 deaths involved one or more fentanyl analogs, officials say.

The coroners office also says they've seen four times as much methamphetamine in all overdoses, more specifically in those who also tested positive for fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.

"Sadly, 2017 is the fourth consecutive year my office has seen a rise in fatal drug overdoses." stated Butler County Coroner Dr. Lisa Mannix. "The proliferation of fentanyl analogs and increase in methamphetamine have turned an already bad situation into something far worse. I am hopeful that by working together as a community, Butler County can reduce the number of fatal drug overdoses in 2018."

Deaths involving cocaine remained about the same, said the coroner's office, but were also seen predominately in cases with fentanyl or fentanyl analogs.

Officials said the number of other types of deaths in the county remained stable compared with past years.

The coroners office says that they responded to a total of 800 calls in 2017. Of those 800, 485 were investigations by their office, 127 were natural deaths, and 11 were homicides.

The coroners office says that 20 deaths were ruled 'undetermined.'

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