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Overdose deaths down by half in 2018

Those fighting addiction still see work to do

January 16, 2019 Digital Media Exclusive

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In 2018, 46 people in Butler County died of an overdose, according to the county coroner's office. That figure is exactly half of 2017's 92 deaths.

Fewer Butler County residents died from overdoses in 2018 than in 2017, but local leaders still see a long battle ahead.

In 2018, 46 people in Butler County died of an overdose, according to the county coroner's office. That figure is exactly half of 2017's 92 deaths, and still fewer than 2016's 74 deaths.

Talk to any of the people in Butler County working to curb addiction about that statistic and they'll tell you all the work that is yet to be done.

Leslie Osche, county commissioners' chairwoman, said “obviously it's certainly a number to celebrate,” but she described herself as only “cautiously optimistic.”

She said she's heard from some people in law enforcement that many addicts have simply moved on to other substances to avoid heroin laced with fentanyl. She also thinks the decrease mirrors decreases in other areas throughout the nation.

“This was not an overnight fix,” she said. “There is no overnight fix.”

Read the full story in the Butler Eagle

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