(Columbus, OH) New federal numbers show Ohio’s opioid epidemic continues to explode. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 5,232 Ohioans died of a drug overdose in the last federal fiscal year, which ended in mid-June. That’s a 39 percent jump, or 1,469 more deaths than the previous year. The increase is third nationally, only behind Pennsylvania and Florida. 

The hike in drug-related deaths is nearly three times the increase nationally. But the CDC warns those numbers are likely under-reported. 

Ohio spends an estimated one billion dollars annually to treated the drug-addicted working poor, much of it in Medicaid spending. Critics say still not enough is being done.