By Eric Heinz

The Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHA) released a grim report on Tuesday, April 25, that stated the county saw an increase in drug- and alcohol-related deaths from 2013-2015.

According to the report, Dana Point had 41 drug-and-alcohol-related deaths between 2013 and 2015, almost evenly spread among each of those years. The city ranked second-highest among all municipalities’ three-year average per population, and the county’s trend has been rising since 2013.

Ten of Dana Point’s deaths in the time frame were directly related to prescription drugs, which were verified by the Orange County Coroner’s Office.

Additionally, Dana Point’s rate of hospitalizations from drug and alcohol abuse ranked first in the county, with 44.6 hospitalizations per 10,000 people. San Juan Capistrano was ranked sixth, with 30.3 hospitalizations per 10,000 residents, and San Clemente ranked fourth among cities in Orange County for drug-and-alcohol-related hospitalizations with a three-year average of 33.1 people per 10,000 being hospitalized.

Of the coroner-investigated deaths, 48.1 percent of all of Orange County’s accidental deaths from 2013-2015 were caused by prescription medication, and 24.5 were caused by illicit drugs.

Deputies, crime scene investigators and other OCSD and medical personnel in Orange County now carry Naloxone, a nasal spray that may save people who are experiencing an opioid overdose from drugs such as oxycodone or heroin. That program started in fall of 2015.

To view the full report, click on the link to it in this article, click here.

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