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Pandemic Year Likely Deadliest Ever For Drug Overdoses In Ohio

Dan Konik

Last year is likely to have been the deadliest year for drug overdoses ever in Ohio, according to a projection from the CDC. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

Ohio is projected to report 5,215 drug deaths once all the data comes in for last year. That’s more than 14 Ohioans a day and breaking the record set in 2017. It's almost a 22% increase from the CDC’s 2019 Ohio number, and the fourth largest total among all states. And the CDC says it’s likely an underestimate.

Drug overdoses were largely expected as an impact of the pandemic – and the CDC data suggests overdose increases in all states. Most of those overdoses involved opioids, with the especially deadly drug fentanyl to be the biggest concern.  The Ohio Department of Health is expected to put out its drug overdose death count later this year.

Previous drug death totals:
- 2019: 4,028
- 2018: 3,764
- 2017: 4,854
- 2016: 4,050
- 2015: 2,531