Ohio ranks third in country for highest total fentanyl deaths last year

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 7:33 PM EST
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Ohioans continue to die from opioid overdoses at an alarming pace.

And police and prosecutors are working overtime to get the illegal drugs off our streets.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office recently charged 13 people as part of a drug trafficking conspiracy involving fentanyl in northeast Ohio.

The man-made opioid is everywhere now, from fake pain pills to deadly drug mixtures.

The drug is 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin.

In just two years, fentanyl deaths have doubled in the United States.

Ohio now ranks No. 3 in the country for the highest total number of deaths from fentanyl in 2021, according to a new report by local advocacy group Families Against Fentanyl, which analyzed CDC data.

Fentanyl killed 209,491 people since 2015.

In Ohio, 8,929 people died in that same time period.

That’s more than the bottom 20 states combined, according to the report.

Over the last six years, deaths from fentanyl in Ohio increased 248%.

Families Against Fentanyl founder James Rauh lost his son Tom at 37 years old to fentanyl poisoning.

“There’s no drama, it’s silent. It’s silent, and the people who are grieving are silent also because they feel culpable in these deaths, stigma has put a blanket over this thing,” Rauh said.

And teens have become the latest victims.

The report found teen deaths from fentanyl tripled in the last two years.

Many schools in Ohio have Narcan on hand in case of opioid overdoses to reverse them in an emergency.

Akron Public Schools has had it for a few years.

A spokesperson said they have Narcan at all 16 middle and high schools and security officers carry it with them in their cars.

This report comes off the heels of another stunning finding we recently told you about.

Families Against Fentanyl found fentanyl is now the number one killer of adults ages 18 to 45 years old.

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