Enquirer: Experts discuss reasons for drop in overdose deaths
According to Hamilton County Coroner's Office data, accidental overdose deaths in the county are lower now than at any time since 2016. The Cincinnati Enquirer reports there were 433 overdose deaths in the county in 2022, 16% lower than 2021's 515 overdose deaths.
Christine Wilder, MD, associate professor in UC's College of Medicine and medical director of UC Health Addiction Sciences, told the Enquirer she believes overdose deaths were beginning to trend downward several years ago, but that trend was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"What I think actually happened is, we were doing things that were helping in 2018, 2019, and then COVID hit and threw everything off,” Wilder said. She said the county appears to be back on the downward trend now.
When UC Health's clinic for substance use disorder opened in 2013, Wilder said most patients had never heard of naloxone, the drug that can be used to reverse the effects of an opiate overdose. But now, all Ohioans can carry naloxone without criminal liability and every patient at the clinic receives it and knows how to use it.
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Featured photo at top of naloxone doses. Photo courtesy of Pharmacy Images via Unsplash.