2017 records highest number of opioid-related deaths since spike - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

2017 records highest number of opioid-related deaths since spike in EBR Parish began

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

The number of deaths caused by an overdose of drugs continues to rise in East Baton Rouge Parish.

According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, 111 people died from an overdose in 2017. In 2017, 45 people died from heroin and the remaining died from a mixture of drugs, which were primarily opioids.

RELATED: The opiate epidemic in Louisiana

The East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner's Office began tracking heroin overdose deaths in 2012 due to a spike in deaths. That year they only tracked deaths related to heroin and there were a total of 5. The following year that number jumped dramatically to 35. In 2016, the number of deaths reached 89.

YEAR HEROIN OTHER TOTAL
2012 5 NA 5
2013 35 26 61
2014 28 35 63
2015 41 37 78
2016 35 42 77
2017 45 66 111

Coroner Dr. William “Beau” Clark recently participated in a press conference regarding a lawsuit that is being filed by the parish against opioid manufacturers and distributors.

RELATED: EBR files suit against major opioid manufacturers

Dr. Clark spoke on using opioids for treatment. He says the risks outweigh the benefits when using opioid prescriptions for pain treatment.

"I firmly believe that the use of opioids for the treatment of any pain should be done in a very, very rare circumstance," Clark said. He said chronic scenarios such as cancer would be an example of the use of opioids.

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