BATAVIA, Ohio (April 21, 2015) – Clermont County experienced an increase in accidental deaths in 2014, which County Coroner Brian Treon attributed to an upswing in overdose deaths related to heroin.
There were 105 accidental deaths in the county in 2014 compared to 85 in 2013, Dr. Treon reported. Of those, 68 were caused by drug overdoses; 36 of the 68 were caused by heroin.
“Accidental deaths can be divided into two categories: those related to an overdose of medications/drugs and those that are not. Car accidents, falls and drownings fall into the non-overdose category, but these have remained relatively stable over the year despite a growing Clermont County population,” he said.
“Overdose deaths are the sole cause of the increase in accidental deaths,” Treon said.
In the category of overdose deaths, heroin-related deaths have increased 500%, from seven in 2003 to 36 in 2014, the coroner said. “In fact, heroin is the single cause for the increase in all accidental deaths,” he noted.
From 2003 to 2014, the coroner said, the average age of an individual who died from an accidental drug overdose was 36, and victims ranged in age from 18 to 69. Males outnumbered females five to one.
In 2014, the Coroner’s Office assisted in or investigated 643 deaths. Of these, 498 were from natural causes; 105 were accidental deaths; 35 were determined to be suicides; three were homicides; and two were undetermined.
Law enforcement, child welfare agencies, public health and mental health services have all been stressed by the increase in heroin use in Clermont County.
For more information, contact Dr. Treon at 513-732-8117 or visit the coroner’s website at www.clermontcoroner.org.