Franklin Co. Overdose Deaths Rose Nearly 50% in 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--The Franklin County Coroner says overdose deaths rose nearly 50% in 2017.

That's according to preliminary numbers released Tuesday by Dr. Anahi Ortiz's office. The numbers also show that fentanyl is fueling the increase.

The drug accounted for about 65% of all overdoses, compared to 2016, when it accounted for about 40%. Cocaine, methamphetamine, and heroin all had roles in smaller percentages of overdose deaths last year.

In terms of demographics, most of the deaths were white males under age 39: 56% of deaths were under age 39, 68% were male, and 78% were white.

Dr. Ortiz adds that the numbers for 2017 could still increase, since not all of the cases have been finalized.

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