County coroner in Cincinnati to discuss drug overdose toll

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio county coroner plans to discuss the kinds of drugs her office has been seeing and the overdose statistics for the past year.

Hamilton County’s Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco (LAK’-shmee suh-MAHR’-koh) has scheduled a Monday morning news conference.

She will talk about 2016 overdose numbers, after a record total of 414 accidental overdose deaths in 2015 in the county that includes Cincinnati.

The county saw an overdose spike last summer, with hundreds of cases in late August. She said last September that the powerful elephant tranquilizer carfentanil (kahr-FEHN’-tuh-nihl) was found in the bodies of some of those who died.

The county saw another overdose spike in early 2017, including nine deaths over one February weekend.

Ohio has been among the states hit hardest by the drug overdose epidemic.