The toll of fatal drug overdoses last year hit Ohio even worse than initially thought, according to newly released data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Source: “Capitol Insider: As feared, Ohio smashes record for drug overdose deaths last year,” Columbus Dispatch, July 16).
The new figures showed that the agency projected Ohio to hit 5,215 drug deaths — fourth in the U.S. for the nation's seventh-largest state — breaking the record of 4,854 set in 2017. The CDC warned that the 2020 figure will grow; the current total is regarded as underreported due to incomplete data.
In 2014, Ohio led the country in overdose deaths — although the 2020 total is some 2.5 times higher.
A big jump was feared by many because of the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Indeed, overdose deaths for the nation as a whole increased every month last year, the CDC data show.
In all, the U.S. saw 93,331 people die from drug overdoses in 2020, a 29.4% leap over 2019.