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Each black flag represents a death attributed to an accidental drug overdose in Ashtabula County during 2017. At least 296 accidental overdoses have been reported in 2017.
According to statistics gathered and compiled by Dr. Pamela L. Lancaster, Ashtabula County Coroner, 35 drug-related deaths occurred in the county during 2016; the county is on track to exceed last year’s record.
Lancaster told those gathered for a ceremony on the front lawn of the Old Courthouse that fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, was involved in most of the deaths.
The Commissioners’ proclamation was presented to the Ashtabula County Prevention Coalition. During the presentation, a former heroin user spoke to the crowd and told her story of overdose and recovery. She credited the county’s Drug Court for helping her work through the addiction and get herself back on track for a productive life.