A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now lists fentanyl as the top drug Americans are overdosing on and dying from.
According to the report released Wednesday, the rate of drug overdose deaths involving fentanyl and fentanyl analogs doubled each year from 2013 through 2016.
Overall, the number of drug overdose deaths per year increased 54 percent, from 41,340 deaths in 2011 to 63,632 deaths in 2016.
According to data from the regional medical examiner, as of Dec. 3, there have been 19 fentanyl fatalities in Franklin County thus far in 2018.
Twelve males and seven females have died from the drug this year, ranging in age from 16 to 59, with the majority of the deaths in the 20 to 29 age group.
Seventeen of the victims were white and two were black and all of the deaths were ruled accidental.
Last year, 22 people died from fentanyl-related causes and 49 others since 2007.
Much like the national statistics, fentanyl use and the ensuing overdose deaths were extremely low compared to other drugs in the county until 2016 when the deaths jumped to 16, compared to only six in 2015.
Before the spike two years ago, the highest number of fentanyl deaths in the past decade was in 2012 with seven cases.
Of the 90 fentanyl deaths in Franklin County since 2007, 72 have been ruled accidental, six were accidents involving a motor vehicle, three were suicides and there was one fentanyl-related homicide.
Meth Still King
Despite the rise in deaths linked to fentanyl in recent years, methamphetamine has been the No. 1 drug killer in Franklin County in 2018.
As of last week, 23 deaths in Franklin County have been associated with meth.
Nineteen of the deaths were ruled accidental, two were homicides, one suicide and one other cause of death was undetermined.
The 2018 victims consisted of 16 males and six females, ranging in ages from 20 to 69, and all but two of the deceased were white.
Methamphetamines also were the top killers in 2017 with 23 deaths recorded and an additional 47 deaths since 2008.
The majority of the meth-related deaths over the past decade were ruled accidental.
Following closely behind meth as the top drug killer in Franklin County are heroin, morphine and other opiates like oxycodone.
Thus far in 2018, those opioids have killed six people, evenly split between males and females, ranging in age from 20 to 39.
In 2017, seven people died in cases related to heroin and an additional 79 people since 2007.
Between 2007 and 2017, oxycodone has been associated with 92 deaths in Franklin County.
Although not considered as dangerous as meth or opiates, and usually not associated with overdoses, cannabis has been responsible for 120 deaths in the last decade.
Cocaine has only been associated with 13 deaths in the county since 2007.
According to the 2017 annual report released Monday by the Franklin County medical examiner, there have been 242 deaths since 2008 in which alcohol was related.
In 146 of those deaths, alcohol was a chief contributing factor.
Forty-eight of the deaths were accidents involving a motor vehicle, 44 were other types of accidents, 40 were suicides and six alcohol-related deaths were homicides.