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County records second deadliest year for overdoses

| April 28, 2022

DOVER (WJER) (April 28, 2022) – Tuscarawas County Coroner Jeff Cameron says it doesn’t appear the drug crisis that has fueled an alarming rise in overdose deaths these past few years is going away anytime soon.

Cameron released a report this week listing the number of overdose deaths in the county over the last five years. He says 2020 remains the deadliest year on record with 30 fatal overdoses, although this past one came in second.

“Twenty-five deaths in our county is still an awful lot, which is what we had in 2021.”

Cameron says four of last year’s deaths were due to methamphetamine use, while the rest were caused by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, carfentanil, and a compound 4-ANPP.

“I think the community needs to know what is going on out there in terms of overdose deaths, how prevalent it is, and what people are dying of. Most people think it’s heroin users. Technically, no one is dying from heroin. They’re dying from these synthetic opioids, which are so much stronger than heroin.”

Cameron anticipates the county’s overdose death total for 2022 will be close to last year’s or slightly higher. His office logged nine fatal overdoses between January 1st and mid-April including the county’s first death from nitazene, a synthetic opioid more lethal than fentanyl.

Ohio Guidestone operates what’s known as a Hope Line that helps people battling addiction connect with treatment. Just call or text 330-683-6812. The Tuscarawas County and New Philadelphia Health Departments both offer free kits of the overdose reversal drug naloxone.

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