Opioid overdoses, deaths don’t change much in Parkersburg in 2020

WTAP News @ 5 - Overdoses, deaths virtually the same in 2020 as 2019
Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 6:32 PM EST
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PARKERSBURG, W.Va. (WTAP) - Even with a pandemic and economic issues putting stress on all of us, the number of opioid overdoses and deaths in the city of Parkersburg weren’t much different in 2020 than in 2019.

Parkersburg Police Chief Joseph Martin released those figures to us Friday.

There was a slight increase in overdose deaths in the city from the year before: from 244 to 251, and overdoses were down: from 14 in 2019 to 12 in 2020.

The police chief says one factor, at least at the beginning of the year, was that users shifted to other drugs.

”We saw a shift from the opiates back to the methamphetamemes,” Chief Martin says, “and that trend continued through the middle part of the year to until the price of methamphetemenes on the street increased. We then saw the heroin or the opiate abuse go back on the rise again at that point.”

The largest numbers of overdoses came from people in their 20′S, 30′S and 40′S.

The breakdown:

Ages 20-29: 68

Ages 30-39: 110

Ages 40-49: 55

The most used drugs involved in overdoses;

Heroin: 105

Pills: 17

Unknown or intoxication pending: 251

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