Drug overdose deaths hit double-digits early into 2017

The “heroin epidemic” continues to hold a strong grip on Butler and Warren counties, according to the coroner offices.

More than 30 people in Butler and Warren counties have died from drug overdoses so far this year.

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There have been 14 drug overdoses in Butler County in the first six weeks on 2017, a number expected to rise once the toxicology reports are final, said Martin Schneider, executive administrator.

He described January as “a busy month” in the coroner’s office and said the number of overdoses is in line with previous, record-setting years.

The Butler County Coroner’s office said 189 people died from drug overdoses in 2015, and 149, or 79 percent, were heroin-related that includes heroin, fentanyl or a combination.

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Dr. Lisa Mannix, Butler County coroner, is expected to release the number of drug overdoses the county saw in 2016 in the next few weeks.

Warren County is reporting 17 overdose deaths so far this year, a sharp increase from this time last year. The county reported 66 overdoses in 2016, up from 60 the previous year.

There still are four toxicology reports pending from last year that could push the total overdoses to 70, the coroner’s office said.

Of the 66 recorded, 52 were blamed on heroin, fentanyl or carfentanil, the coroner’s office said.

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