Montgomery County overdose deaths on pace to set new record — by June

Montgomery County likely will surpass 2016’s record-setting year for accidental overdose deaths by the end of June and with half the year remaining.

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Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger, pictured with Kialee Bowles, will get three more investigators as the overdose deaths continue to rise. His office said the county likely will reach a record for overdose deaths by the end of June with half the year remaining after. STAFF / CHRIS STEWART (Staff Writer)

The stark prediction came from Ken Betz, director of the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office.

Last year, there were 349 unintentional overdose deaths in the county, most of which involved heroin and fentynal. As of May 16, there have already been about 300 deaths.

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The county is on pace to end the year with 700 to 800 fatal overdoses, Betz said.

“We’ve never, as a community, experienced this volume of accidental overdoses,” he said.

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