ov. Mike DeWine is calling for increased efforts to battle addiction in the minority community as Ohio’s highest drug overdose death rate now belongs to black men (Source: “With drug death rate zooming among black men, Ohio Gov. DeWine wants action,” Columbus Dispatch, April 5, 2019).
DeWine last week appointed a minority health working group to develop recommendations as part of his RecoveryOhio initiative to improve addiction and mental health treatment across the state.
“We need to ensure that we are serving all Ohioans with mental health and substance abuse disorder” regardless of race, DeWine said. “We need to take a hard look at how we deliver services.”
Dr. Amy Acton, director of the Ohio Department of Health, said new analysis of 2017 unintentional drug overdose deaths showed 449 non-Hispanic black men among the toll, a rate of 64.6 deaths per 100,000. That number, for the first time in recent years, surpassed the rate of 63.7 deaths per 100,000 white non-Hispanic men (2,744 total deaths), who long had been the most likely to die of drug overdoses, particularly those involving opioids such as fentanyl.