Montgomery County seeing overdose deaths spike in November

Montgomery County Coroner's Office (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT)- Montgomery County will set a record this year for the number of people who have died from a drug overdose.

However, there is hope the crisis is getting better despite a recent increase in overdoses.

The latest numbers from the coroner’s office show 532 people have died this year from drug overdoses. Last year, that number was only 349. In 2015 the total was less than half of 2017’s current total with only 259 overdose deaths.

Montgomery County is on pace to have 32-33 overdose deaths in November.

The county had 27 OD deaths in October.

It would be the first month-to-month increase in five months.

"But that's down significantly from the first five months of the year where we were averaging approximately 67 deaths a month," Chris Williams, the Director of Operations for the Montgomery County Regional Crime Lab and Coroner’s Office said.

Williams took over as the Director of Operations in April, just at the height of the overdose crisis. He said there isn't one key that's slowed the number of overdoses but he thinks a crackdown on where synthetic opioids are produced overseas is making an impact.

"And you talk about the proliferation of the use of Narcan by local police agencies and the availability by friends and families of that Narcan to save their loved ones, I think in totality has had a significant impact," Williams said.

Williams said investigators don't know what's behind the uptick in OD's this month, but it could be a new synthetic opioid.

"Certainly sometimes that is the case where you have a new analog that's been synthesized has hit the street that people aren't used to using that causes overdoses," Williams said.

Williams also says they also see people thinking they're doing one drug but using another.

"People may believe they're actually snorting cocaine but it actually has Fentanyl mixed in with it or methamphetamines so you never know what you're getting out on the street," Williams said.

More than 330 people died in the first five months of 2017 from an overdose in Montgomery County. From June through October, 194 people overdosed and died.

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