Summit County opiate overdoses: ‘They have to live long enough to get to treatment’

Heroin and fentanyl were prevalent prior to 2016, officials said, but since then fentanyl has become more powerful and mixed with other drugs. (Courtesy of ADM Board)

SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio — Despite multiple agencies working to reduce drug abuse, opiate overdose deaths are on track to number the same as, or more than, last year, said Medical Examiner Dr. Lisa Kohler.

Since 2020, the number of opiate-related deaths has risen 70%, Kohler said during an online Overdose Awareness Day press conference hosted by Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro’s office. Kohler was a member of a panel of local leaders and professionals from agencies related to drug addiction, treatment and recovery.