Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Overdose Deaths in Kentucky Decline for First Time in Decade

painkiller overdose 300FRANKFORT, Ky. (7/27/13) – For the first time in a decade, Kentucky overdose deaths declined in 2012, according to a report issued today by the Office of Drug Control Policy. Even with the overall drop, autopsied overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin increased 550 percent over the previous year, to 143 cases, up from 22 in 2011.
 
Of the 1,004 overdose fatalities in 2012, 888 were found to be unintentional, 59 were suicides and 57 remain undetermined, according to the report. In 2011, there were 1023 overdose deaths in Kentucky.
 
The data, contained in the 2012 Overdose Fatality Report, was compiled from the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention & Research Council, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. The report was mandated under a provision in HB 1 from the 2012 Special Session.
 
“Obviously, we’re pleased to see that we’ve broken the trend of steadily increasing drug overdose numbers,” said Van Ingram, executive director of the Office of Drug Control Policy.
 
The report also reveals that overdose deaths attributed to the use of heroin accounted for nearly one-fifth -- 19.56 percent -- of all Kentucky Medical Examiner drug overdose cases in 2012. In 2011, that percentage was 3.22 percent.

Ingram added that while the increase in heroin deaths is troubling, it was not completely unexpected. Kentucky first started seeing an increase in heroin use and deaths when the formulation for Oxycontin was changed in 2010 and for Opana in 2011 to make those drugs more difficult for intravenous drug use.
 
“As House Bill 1 has taken effect, opiates available through illicit means – doctor shopping and street sales – have become less available, requiring drug users to seek out cheaper and more available alternatives,” Ingram said. “Unfortunately, that’s heroin.”
 
Other significant findings include:
• Jefferson County had the most overdose deaths of any county, with 167.
• The largest increase in overdose fatalities occurred in Campbell County, with 54 in 2012 compared to 25 deaths in 2011.
• The largest decrease occurred in Floyd County, with 23 fewer fatalities in 2012 than 2011 (14 versus 37, respectively). Other counties with significant declines in 2012 include Clay (17 fewer), Knox (12 fewer), and Johnson (11 fewer).
• Overdose deaths in many Eastern Kentucky counties, when compared by 100,000 population, combined 2011 and 2012 data, showed high rates. The top 10 counties by overdose deaths per 100,000 people for 2011 and 2012 combined are:
 
Leslie County 85 per 100,000
Clinton County 78 per 100,000
Clay County 76 per 100,000
Estill County 65 per 100,000
Floyd County 65 per 100,000
Nicholas County 64 per 100,000
Perry County 63 per 100,000
Whitley County 56 per 100,000
Monroe County 53 per 100,000
Magoffin County 53 per 100,000
 
Of the overdose deaths autopsied by the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in 2012:
• Alprazolam remained the most detected controlled substance in overdose deaths, present in 41.44 percent of all autopsied cases.
• Morphine was next at 32.01 percent, followed by hydrocodone 25.99 percent, Oxycodone 24.21 percent, Heroin at 19.56 percent, and Oxymorphone at 17.51 percent. The report notes many of the cases with morphine detected may in fact involve heroin, as morphine is the major pharmaceutical substance detected in the blood after injection of heroin.
• The youngest overdose fatality was 16 years old and the oldest was 72 years old. The average age of an overdose victim was 40, and the majority – 58 percent – were male.

To view the report in its entirety, visit: http://odcp.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/C6EE39C4-E6EE-4E4B-913F-C45BD1E177AD/0/2012ODCPOverdoseDeathReportEDITS3.pdf.
 
SurfKY News
Information provided by Jennifer Brislin (Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet)

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 19249

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 17, 2014 4218

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3136

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 3054

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2778

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 17, 2014 4218

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3136

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2778

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1074

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett
April 18, 2014 939

Talking Teen Trashed Telephone Pole,…

in Top Stories by MPD

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 15, 2014 1707

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1362

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 1017

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 16, 2014 828

New Home Health Care Opens in Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 15, 2014 750

OPD’s Annual 5K Run and Police Awareness…

in News by Owensboro Police Department

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 3054

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 15, 2014 2023

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1855

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1516

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 16, 2014 1149

South Carrollton Woman Injured in Head-on…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03