Coroner’s office “overwhelmed” by number of overdoses

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Officials at the Montgomery County Coroner’s office say they’re “overworked” and “overwhelmed” because of the sheer number of overdose cases.

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Kent Harshbarger said his office handled more than 800 overdoses cases last year and they’re on track to surpass that number, this year.

“We are overworked, we are overwhelmed. The resources are being stretched as far as they can go,” Harshbarger said.

“Really because of certain accreditation limits on my physician staff, we are in danger of not meeting those standards.”

He said the coroner’s office has adjusted its procedure in a bid to keep up with the rising number of overdoses but it still has to handle unrelated deaths – like homicides or traffic crashes.

He said although the coroner’s office is maintaining its ability to handle cases, things have slowed down and families have to wait longer and longer for routine cases.

“At this rate, we really don’t know what we’re going to do by the end of the year and in fact, I don’t know what will happen nationally because we’re not unique. It’s happening all over the country,” Harshbarger said.

He said if the overdose trend continues, authorities will run out of resources, and the government will have to find a solution. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s