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County Coroner Announces New Anti-Opiate Effort


Multiple overdose deaths in one day last month in Columbus were caused by a mixture of heroin and Carfentanyl, a powerful large animal tranquilizer. The Franklin County Coroner says if it happens again, a newly-created rapid response team will be called to help. The team includes the coroner's office, law-enforcement, fire and medics, and local public health officials. Coroner Anahi Ortiz announced the formation of the Opiate Rapid Response Team Wednesday. She says her office has hired more staff because it has been dealing with one or two overdose deaths a day.

The team will develop short-term intervention or response plans when overdoses happen. Ortiz also announced the creation of a new Opiate Crisis Task Force that will include law enforcement, policy and legislation experts, as well as people working in prevention and education, recovery and treatment. The group is to meet for the first time on Friday. The goal is to share information on trends and prevention efforts. Ortiz says overdose deaths in Franklin County are up 30 percent from 2014.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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