Fatal drug overdoses reach 10-year high in Orange County

According to preliminary coroner data, fatal drug overdoses climbed to at least 400 last year, a 6 percent increase from 2014 – and a nearly 63 percent jump compared with 2005, when the number stood at 246. The latest figures punctuate a problem that has rapidly multiplied inOrange County and the U.S. In the past five years, drug overdoses have killed 1,769 people in the county. The coroner’s office has cases awaiting toxicology results, so the 400 figure could rise. More than two-thirds of last year’s cases – 286 – involved opioids, a class of drug that includes heroin and prescription painkillers such as Percocet, OxyContin and Vicodin. That’s not unusual: A 2014 report from the county Hea

Orange County Mom Campaigns for Overdose-Reversal Shot

Aimee Dunkle will tell her story to anyone who will listen — it's a story filled with the heartache of a mother who lost her 20-year-old son, Ben, to a heroin overdose. "The big thing was the shock that somebody like him could die," she said. "They just didn't expect it." Ben, a surf instructor who grew up in Orange County, was 50 days sober until the day he got out of recovery and started using drugs again. Eight days later, he was dead. Now, Aimee's wondering what would have happened if Ben had a second chance. She is one of the two mothers behind the Solace Foundation of Orange County, which is committed to reducing the number of opioid-related deaths by campaigning to make naloxone, an o

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