Thirty-two people have died in drug-related deaths in Franklin County since the beginning of the year but not all of those fatalities are linked to opioids.
Although heroin and fentanyl seem to be getting the spotlight in recent years, methamphetamines have killed just as many people in 2017.
According to numbers released Monday by Kathleen Diebold Hargrave, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin County’s medical examiner office chief investigator, meth was listed as the cause of death for 13 people thus far this year in the county.
Fentanyl was the factor on 13 death certificates, as well as six deaths ruled as a result of heroin.
The medical examiner has ruled nine of the meth fatalities as accidental, two as suicide and one was undetermined.
The 13th death was classified as a homicide.
Eight of the victims were males and five were females. Eleven of them were white and two were black.
Of those, five of the deaths were in the age range of 30 to 39, three in the 20-29 age bracket, three in the 40 to 49 age bracket and two deaths were of the ages 50 to 59.
Every month between January and October had at least one meth-related death. February was highest with three fatalities and there were two in April.
A similar, but more dangerous drug than heroin, fentanyl use is on the rise in Franklin County as it is nationwide.
Thus far in 2017, it has been listed as the cause of death on the death certificates of 13 county residents.
The medical examiner classifies all but one of the deaths from fentanyl as accidental, with the one remaining listed as undetermined.
The biggest spike in deaths was in March with four. January, May and September had two fentanyl-related deaths and April, July and October had one death each.
The months of February, June, August and November were death free.
All of the victims were white, 10 were male and three were female.
The highest number of deaths, six, came in the 30 to 39 age group.
There were four in the 50 to 59 range, two in the 20-29 group and one in the age 60-69 range.
Although deaths from heroin, opiates and morphine are lower by half, the deaths are more concentrated.
Of the six total deaths, five were classified as accidental and just one was undetermined.
All of the opiate deaths were of white males.
Four of the deaths occurred in February, March, April and May. The two other deaths were in July and October.
Three of the heroin, opiate, or morphine fatalities ranged in age from 30 to 39, two were 20 to 29 and one was aged 50 to 59.