That's the forecast from a coroner in that state. (A tip o' the hat to Tamara for linking to the article.)
Overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 — they now claim more lives than car crashes, gun deaths and the AIDS virus did at their peaks.
In Ohio, it has sent the death toll surging. According to data from the Montgomery County coroner, 365 people died of drug overdoses from January through and May of this year; 371 people died of such causes in all of last year.
On any given day, Montgomery County sheriff's deputies respond to multiple overdose calls and are equipped with Narcan, or naloxone, a nasal spray that counteracts the effects of a drug overdose.
Each deputy carries two doses, but that isn't always enough to save lives. One deputy said that more than 20 doses were needed to revive a recent victim and that victims often don't survive.
The death toll has overwhelmed the coroner, who tests for more than two dozen varieties of fentanyl during autopsies, and the county morgue's body cooler is consistently filled with overdose victims.
Coroner Kent Harshbarger estimates that ... the state will see 10,000 overdoses by the end of 2017 — more than were recorded in the entire United States in 1990.
There's more at the link.
That's an absolutely ghastly statistic . . . but in all honesty, what effective means are there to change it? Prohibition has manifestly not worked. Since the so-called 'War on Drugs' kicked off in 1971, illegal and prescription narcotics have become much more prevalent, and much easier to get, than ever before. The 'War on Drugs' has ended in defeat, whether officials like to admit it or not - so why continue it? Einstein famously defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". By that standard, the 'War on Drugs' is insane. Period.
Of course, there's another side to the 'War on Drugs' - it makes it much harder for those of us who need prescription narcotics (including yours truly) to get them. Restrictions on the legitimate prescribing of such drugs have made it more and more onerous and expensive for us to obtain them. I wrote some years ago about the problems involved in getting them in Tennessee. Texas is a bit easier, but I still have to see the doctor every three months to get my prescription renewed - and hand over a co-payment every time. I'm fortunate, because I can afford that; but I know others who need their prescriptions just as badly as I do, but can't afford such repeated doctor visits. We have the 'War on Drugs' to thank for that.
I've seen the effect of prolonged drug use on the convicts with whom I worked as a prison chaplain. Those of you who've read my memoir of those years will recall the self-proclaimed 'Sam the Sex God', who'd fried his brain on PCP when he was a teenager, and now had little or no control over his emotions or feelings. He was far from alone. I shudder to think how many there are like him in our prisons - and how many who are not in prison, but walking the streets, with a potentially very dangerous lack of self-control.
From a humane, moral and ethical standpoint, I simply can't recommend letting addicts die of their overdoses, rather than bring them back with Narcan . . . but from a practical standpoint, a number of law enforcement officers with whom I've spoken about the problem have no qualms about recommending such an approach. One told me that he'd 'jump-started' (his term) one particular addict no less than seven times in the past month. "Why should I do it an eighth time?" he demanded. "All he'll do is go out and steal something else, to pay for the ninth high - and then we'll be off to the races again." I find it hard to argue against that.
Ten thousand deaths this year, in just one state. How many more in other states? How many in the USA as a whole? How long can this insanity continue? Is it even remotely possible to stop it - and if so, how?
Your guess is as good as mine . . .