Days Into 2017, County Sees 150+ Opioid Linked Deaths:The Urban Twist

Ohio Coroner Has Processed Over 150 Opioid Related Deaths So Far in 2017.

One Ohio coroner’s office has processed over 150 opioid related deaths in 2017 already. Is this really an issue we can continue avoid as a nation?

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  • Harry Bonnell

    Not to deny that it’s a problem but almost all coroners and medical examiners use the same standardized table to determine whether a drug level belongs in the therapeutic, toxic or fatal range; there can be significant overlap between the categories. A fatality falling in the fatal range could be a true overdose who is relatively new to the drug; but truly addicted persons or those who have been increasing their doses as they no longer get the desired high, might have the same level but die of an other cause. I recently reviewed all the alleged overdose deaths connected to two practitioners, one east coast and one west coast,
    A young drug abuser naive to the drug was found dead with pulmonary edema frothing from the mouth and no other cause of death identified; she used her mother’s drugs. Another was a middle-aged man who was gainfully employed, working at a skilled craft on daily basis and found dead in bed with no external findings but severe coronary artery disease – easy to qualify as a coronary death until the toxicology came back. Both had drug levels of the same value except he had been taking progressively increasing doses over 11 years in order to obtain pain relief.
    They were both assigned a cause of death of drug overdose but obviously the older man had grown accustomed to a higher level to get pain relief and the higher level had not interfered with his daily life. It was easier to use a standardized number than to make a decision based on the circumstances.But politicians and the public wants a death investigation team to spend money on unnatural deaths, not natural deaths. Heart attacks don’t make the news

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