OD’s Decrease, but Fetanyl remains as Leading Killer in Bucks, Coroner Says
Data released by the county coroner’s office says over the last year there was a slight decrease in the number of confirmed overdose fatalities from 178 to 173 in 2022. Fetanyl remains as the most common drug found on toxicological reports during death investigations.
Coroner Meredith J. Buck said overdose deaths were mostly occurred in men (70.5 percent) who are white (82.7 percent) with an age range of 18 to 69, an average age of 43. Around one-third of the deaths were in those aged 35 to 44.
Lab testing, Buck said, continued to confirm Fetanyl as the most common drug in fatal overdoses. The deadly opioid synthetic was found alone or in combination in a total of 137 deaths (79.2). The next most common drugs were methamphetamine (27.7 percent) xylazine (25.4 percent) and cocaine (17.9 percent). 75 percent of drug caused deaths involved a combination of drugs, rather than a single substance.
Township’s with more than 10 confirmed overdose deaths were; Bristol (51); Bensaelm (23); Falls (18); and middletown (15) coroner data shows.
Four persons died due to acute alcohol intoxication with no other substances involved. Uncommon single-drug deaths in 2022 included one death attributed to mitragynine (also known as kratom) and two deaths attributed to bromazolam, an unapproved benzodiazepine, which new to the Bucks area, Buck said
“Drug deaths, particular opioid-related deaths, continuing to plague…Bucks, said the coroner, “my office diligently investigates each suspected drug death according to the highest national standards. we performed autopsies, in 84 percent of drug deaths in 2022 to ensure an accurate cause and manner of death.”
The office shares drug death data with agencies such as a the DEA
“It is my hope that the information we provide will inform prevention effiorts as we continue to battle the opioid epidemic.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Health provided a grant to help offset testing costs involved with suspected drug caused death investigations, officials said.