Trumbull County’s overdose numbers trend upward as face-to-face recovery meetings are canceled

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"We know that people need the face-to-face contact, especially when they're in early recovery," said April Caraway, with the Mental Health and Recovery Board.

Chairs, therapy

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TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WKBN) – Trumbull County released its updated drug overdose numbers Monday. They’re not as bad as the record-breaking year of 2017, but they are up from last year.

Last month, there were 554 overdoses. Here’s how that compares to overdose numbers in Trumbull County in July over the past three years:

  • 2019 – 412
  • 2018 – 376
  • 2017 – 742

In 2017, Trumbull County saw over 1,200 overdoses over the course of the entire year.

To clarify, these numbers represent reported overdoses — not deaths.

As has been the case for the past four years, the 44483 zip code, which includes Warren’s east side and parts of Champion, continues to record the most overdoses — 19% of all of the overdoses in the county.

However, as far as the rate for every 10,000 people, Warren’s west side (44485) is number one with nearly 60%.

Most of the overdoses — 64% — are people ages 20 to 40. Sixty-five percent of those who overdosed were men and 35% were women.

April Caraway, with the county’s Mental Health and Recovery Board, isn’t surprised, saying it’s all COVID-related.

She said people recovering from addiction are now isolated and find it hard to participate in recovery.

“They weren’t able to go to face-to-face meetings. We preached 90 meetings in 90 days and that wasn’t happening. The online, remote meetings were starting to pop up but they were not every day for a while there. We know that people need the face-to-face contact, especially when they’re in early recovery.”

Caraway said every drug overdose they’ve encountered this year has involved fentanyl in some way. She said people will tell them all they were doing was cocaine, not realizing it was laced with fentanyl.

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