1 northeast Ohio county sees drop in drug overdose deaths

CANTON, Ohio (AP) — A newspaper reports that drug overdose deaths decreased in one Ohio county last year, contrary to the overall trend in the state.

The Repository in Canton reports Stark County in northeastern Ohio saw 86 overdose deaths, a 27 percent decrease from 2016.

Officials say the drop could be attributable to widespread use of naloxone, an overdose antidote drug credited with saving thousands of lives in Ohio and nationally.

Stark County also has added detox beds and increased access to medication-assisted treatment for addicts.

Law enforcement officers also follow up with overdose survivors, and local schools are using a new drug-awareness curriculum.

John Aller is Stark County Mental Health and Addiction Recovery Chief Executive. He says he'll be more confident if the trend of fewer deaths repeats itself this year.