At the midway point of 2018, 11 people have died of opiate-related deaths in Franklin County, which is two less than this time last year and less than half the number in neighboring counties.
According to numbers just released to The Missourian from the county medical examiner, eight of the 11 deaths have been from fentanyl and the additional three were from either heroin or morphine.
The largest spike for both substances was in February and all 11 deaths were ruled accidental.
Seven of the victims were white males, three of the remaining deaths were white females and one death was a black female.
The ages of the victims ranged from 16 to 59, with the majority of the deaths in the 20 to 29 age group.
At this same time last year, there had been 13 opiate-related deaths in Franklin County, leading to 24 total deaths for the year.
At the midway point of 2017, nine fentanyl-related deaths were recorded — nine males and two females. All of the victims were white and eight of the deaths were ruled accidental, with one undetermined.
The dominant age groups of the fentanyl deaths at this point last year were 30 to 39 and 50 to 59 years of age.
In addition to fentanyl, heroin, morphine and other opiates had killed four people in Franklin County by July 1, 2017. All of those victims were white males ranging in age from 20 to 59.
Three of the deaths were ruled accidental and one was undetermined.
St. Charles County
Neighboring St. Charles County has already recorded 33 opiate-related deaths as of July 1 this year.
Twenty-two of the deaths were the result of fentanyl use with 21 ruled as accidental and one as suicide.
Of the fentanyl specific deaths, nine victims were males and two were females in the dominant age range of 30 to 39. All of the victims were white.
Eleven additional opiate, heroin and morphine fatalities were recorded by the county medical examiner.
Of those, all victims were white and all were accidental.
The victims were nine males and two females, and the majority of the deaths were in the 30 to 39 age range.
In Jefferson County, 30 people have lost their lives as a result of opiates in the first half of 2018.
Again fentanyl was the top killer claiming 19 victims.
All of the deaths were ruled accidental, and the majority of the victims were white and in the 30 to 39 age range.
There were 14 males, who died and five females.
Opiates, morphine and heroin took another 11 lives in Jefferson County in the past six months. Seven of the victims have been white males and four were white females.
The majority of the victims were in the 30 to 39 age range and all of the deaths have been ruled accidental.
In 2016, opiates were responsible for the deaths of 37 people in Franklin County.
That number dropped significantly in 2017 with the total deaths only reaching 24.
Statewide, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released a report last week showing a 4.7 percent decrease in opiate-related deaths between 2017 and 2016.
In total, there were 951 opioid deaths in Missouri in 2017, with 298 heroin deaths and 653 opioid deaths that were non-heroin.
In 2016, there were 908 opioid- or heroin-related deaths in the state, a 35 percent increase over 2015’s number of 672.