Drug related deaths in Oregon in 2012 dropped 7 percent from 2011. Although it was a welcomed reduction, a couple of Oregon Counties saw their deaths double with heroin leading the way.
The Oregon Medical Examiner’s Office reported 223 people died in 2012 from abusing illegal and prescription drugs.
Heroin was the leading cause with 147 deaths, a 2.5% decrease over 2011. Cocaine related deaths were 19, the lowest recorded since 2000. Meth deaths dropped 13% from 2011 with 19 losing their lives from its abuse. Deaths from mixing drugs dropped 16% from 2011, coming in at 33.
Around the state, the Medford area drug deaths rose from 9 to 19.
The Salem area increased from 10 to 19.
Washington County increased from 14 to 17.
Lane County dropped from 23 to 15.
Multnomah County dropped from 119 to 103.
Among prescription drugs, methadone dropped from 100 to 78.
Hydrocodone (Vicodin) dropped from 37 to 26.
Oxycodone rose from 56 deaths in 2011 to 66 deaths in 2012.
In the rurals, Lincoln County saw 2 deaths from meth in 2012. Coos County saw 4 deaths from meth. Meth took one life each in Linn and Benton Counties, and a heroin overdose was blamed for the death of a person in Tillamook County.