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Overdose rate doubles in Clark County in 24 hours

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WRGT) - Clark County has seen the rate of overdoses double in the past 24 hours, with almost 1 person for an opioid drug overdose being treated per hour.

A press release said there were 13 overdoses being treated in the ER around 3 p.m. January 18.

The overdose spike prompted the Ohio Department of Health to send an alert to the Clark County Combined Health District. Law enforcement agencies, Springfield Regional medical Center, EMS/Fire Departments and mental health and addiction services have all been notified of the increase and each agency is on high alert and will respond accordingly.

"Unintentional drug deaths are the most common deaths seen by the Clark County Coroner's Office, accounting for over 1/3 of the deaths that fall under our jurisdiction," Clark County Coroner Dr. Richard Marsh said. "While a variety of drugs are involved, it is the illicit drug fentanyl that is most frequently seen."

Fentanyl is a synthetic narcotic that is about 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin and 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The majority of fentanyl reports made by law enforcement come from illegally produced and trafficked fentanyl instead of the prescribed drug.

Naloxone has been critical to saving lives in its role as the opiate reversal drug. Anyone can obtain naloxone to administer when someone is overdosing while waiting for first responders to arrive.

For more information about Clark County addiction services, contact McKinley hall at 937-328-5300 or www.mhrb.org

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