Report: Clinton Co. drug OD deaths for 2020 23; up 7 from prior year


By Gary Huffenberger - ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com



WILMINGTON — Drug overdoses were the third leading cause of death during 2020 in Clinton County, with 23 substance-use deaths, according to a draft of the Clinton County Health District (CCHD) annual report.

Along with ranking high on the 2020 list, local drug overdoses last year increased by seven from 2019.

Finishing at the top of the list of 2020 leading causes of death are, in order, cardiovascular [heart] disease (72 deaths), and cancer (49 deaths). Note that these numbers represent deaths that occurred within Clinton County only, and residents may have died from those causes while in another county.

The CCHD report breaks down the drug overdose deaths by gender and race, by drug type, and by age range. Of the 23 deaths, 16 were white males, six were white females, and one a black male.

Concerning the types of drugs — note some deaths involved more than one drug — fentanyl and its analogs were involved in 70 percent of the total deaths (16 deaths).

Amphetamine and/or methamphetamine were used in more than half the deaths — 13 deaths.

Prescription drugs were used in five of the deaths; and over-the-counter drugs were used in three deaths.

Fifteen of the 23 overdose deaths occurred in people who were between the ages of 35 through 54.

The report states that in an effort to help reduce drug overdose deaths in Clinton County, the Clinton County Health District received state funds to provide naloxone to first responders.

An overview of the local cancer fatalities that occurred last year shows a dozen lung cancer deaths, six people dying from colon/rectum cancer, four from ovary\cervix, and three deaths from each of the following cancers: breast, pancreas, prostate, and urinary bladder\ureter.

Besides cardiovascular disease, cancer and drug overdoses, other leading causes of deaths last year occurring within Clinton County and rounding out the top 10 causes are, in order: COVID-19, cerebrovascular disease (such as stroke or carotid stenosis), pneumonia, chronic lung disease, dementia, sepsis, and kidney disease.

In other vital statistics in the report, there were 232 total registered births, and 429 total registered deaths. Note that this information reflects the number of births and deaths that actually occurred in Clinton County; births and deaths are registered in the county where the event occurs — not where the individual resides.

As for communicable diseases — meaning diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another — the Clinton County Health Department last year investigated 2,701 reportable communicable diseases, with 2,366 being COVID-19 cases. The CCHD’s Communicable Disease Control Program includes monitoring, tracking and investigating those diseases.

The Communicable Disease Control Program statistics also indicate 75 local cases of Hepatitis C, 15 cases of Hepatitis B, and seven of Hepatitis A; 20 influenza-associated hospitalizations; one case of Legionnaires Disease for the fifth straight year; no HIV infections or AIDS cases for the second year in a row; and for sexually transmitted diseases, 137 cases of chlamydia, 39 cases of gonorrhea, and two cases of syphilis.

Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.

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By Gary Huffenberger

ghuffenberger@wnewsj.com