May 27, 2014

CITAR director says increase in overdose deaths is worse he’s seen in 25 years

Robert Carlson, Ph.D.Robert Carlson, Ph.D.

There was a dramatic increase in the overall number of unintentional drug overdose deaths in Montgomery County, from 162 deaths in 2012 to 226 in 2013, according to officials from Public Health — Dayton & Montgomery County (PHDMC) and the Preventing Unintentional Drug Poisoning Project. The group released its annual Poisoning Death Review (PDR) report at a press conference on Tuesday, May 27.

Unintentional drug overdose deaths have increased continuously in Montgomery County since 2010, but the increase of 64 deaths from 2012 through 2013 is unprecedented, PHDMC said. The increase of an additional 64 accidental drug overdose cases from 2012 through 2013 doubles the increase of 32 additional unintentional drug overdoses from 2011 to 2012.

“The trends we are seeing here are simply unprecedented. In my 25 years of doing substance abuse research here I’ve seen nothing like this in terms of the increases,” said Robert Carlson, Ph.D., director of the Boonshoft School of Medicine Center for Interventions, Treatment and Addictions Research (CITAR), who helped prepare the report.

The Poisoning Death Review (PDR) is conducted by CITAR, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, under contract with PHDMC. The PDR was part of the Preventing Unintentional Drug Poisoning Project, which was funded by PHDMC and the Ohio Department of Health, with injury prevention block grant funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

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