News and Announcements

New report on drug overdose deaths in Montgomery County

The Center for Interventions, Treatment, and Addictions Research (CITAR) at the Boonshoft School of Medicine has released an updated report on deaths from drug overdoses in Montgomery County, Ohio.

The Poisoning Death Review (PDR) report was compiled by a group of researchers led by Robert Carlson, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences and director of CITAR, in collaboration with the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, and under contract with Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County.

Below are selected highlights from the PDR.

Unintentional drug overdose trends

In 2016, the number of unintentional drug overdose deaths increased 34.7 percent from 259 in 2015 to 349 in 2016. More than 90 percent of the deaths involved at least one opioid. Of the 349 deaths, 309 were Montgomery County residents. Based on the Montgomery County 2010 U.S. Census Bureau population of 535,141, the 309 drug overdose deaths among residents in 2016 represent an estimated unadjusted rate of 57.7 per 100,000, the highest on record. For comparison, the estimated unadjusted drug overdose death rate per 100,000 in 2015 was 42.8.


The percentage of heroin mentions in overdose deaths declined from 45 percent in 2015 to 21 percent in 2016. This is the lowest percentage of heroin mentions since the PDR was initiated in 2010 when heroin was present in 31 percent of the decedents. The percentage of heroin mentions with no illicit fentanyl decreased from 35 percent in 2015 to 11 percent in 2016.

Illicit fentanyl

In 2016, there was an escalating impact of illicit fentanyl (clandestinely manufactured, non-pharmaceutical fentanyl) and/or fentanyl analogues (such as carfentanyl)/metabolites on overdose deaths in Montgomery County. In 2016, there were 250 mentions of illicit fentanyl and/or fentanyl analogues/metabolites, compared to 107 mentions of illicit fentanyl in 2015, a 134 percent increase. The percentage of illicit fentanyl and/or analogue mentions among all 349 deaths increased from 41 percent (illicit fentanyl only) in 2015 to 72 percent (illicit fentanyl and/or analogues/metabolites) in 2016. Although this comparison is not equivalent, it does provide some indication of tremendous increases to the impact of illicit fentanyl in the community.

Access the full report here: Montgomery County Poisoning Death Review: 2010-2016

Last edited on 06/15/2017.