Report: Ontario County among highest for opioid abuse

Opioid abuse and overdoses spiked from 2015 to 2016, according to newly available data from the state Department of Health.

The drug epidemic stretches across the state and nation, and this fresh look at what is happening locally shows it continues to worsen in the Finger Lakes region.

Common Ground Health, a Rochester-based health planning organization, studied the nine-county Finger Lakes region. Overdose deaths involving opioids soared 46 percent from 2015 to 2016. Heroin overdoses more than doubled over the same period, with 613 overdoses across the region.

Nationally, the CDC expects numbers to show drug overdose deaths increasing at least 21 percent from 2015 to 2016, with much of that increase driven by opioids.

For Ontario County, a look at hospital admission and emergency department data found that in 2016, county residents visited hospital EDs for opioid abuse or overdoses 132 times. Eleven people died from the powerful painkillers.

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