COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has awarded the Greene County coroner’s office $7,440 in state funding to help subsidize a portion of the cost of toxicology screenings conducted during coroner investigations of suspected drug overdose deaths. The coroner’s office may be eligible for additional funding during the next two years.
Coroners send blood samples to a clinical laboratory for testing to identify the type and amount of drugs in a person’s body to help determine cause of death.
“Drug overdose death data provided by county coroners to the state helps inform Ohio’s comprehensive and aggressive approach to combatting drug overdoses and saving lives,” said ODH Director Lance Himes. “This funding for coroners is part of more than $1 billion that Ohio is investing each year to help communities battle the scourge of drug abuse and addiction at the local level.”
The state budget for fiscal years 2018 and 2019 contains a total of $2 million to be distributed by ODH to Ohio coroners during the next two years in proportion to the numbers of toxicology screenings performed per county. To receive funding, coroners must provide ODH with data on a quarterly basis about the number of toxicology screenings performed.