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10TV: Personal tragedy inspiring man to battle drug addiction

Via WBNS 10TV

The Franklin County Coroner’s Office released preliminary overdose statistics for 2017 on Tuesday.

From January 1 to December 31, there were approximately 520 overdose deaths in Franklin County. That equals about a 47 percent increase in overdose-related deaths from 2016.

The coroner’s office found fentanyl accounted for 66 percent of those deaths. Cocaine took up a large portion of the remaining percentage. Methamphetamine-related overdose deaths were at 4.6 percent last year.

The coroner’s office saw a decrease in heroin overdoses last year from 40.7 percent in 2016, to 16 percent in 2017.

The report gave statistics on race, age, gender and location of 2017’s overdose deaths.

Most of the overdose deaths were people under the age of 39 years old, with the majority of them being white men. In 2017, 68 percent of the overdose deaths were men, versus 32 percent female.

The coroner’s office also broke down the statistics by zip code. The five zip codes with the highest number of overdose deaths were 43207, 43223, 43232, 43211, 43204.

Mark Voils fully understands how drug addiction can rip a family apart.

“I was probably 19 years old. Started taking opioid pills,” he said.

Voils says his drug addiction started with alcohol and marijuana, then he used cocaine and heroin before becoming addicted to prescription pills.

“It got to the point that it put a strain on my marriage to where my wife and I split up for a couple years because what I was doing to her and the family was not okay,” he admitted.

Voils’ older brother also struggled with addiction.

“Unfortunately, he died of an overdose in 2015,” he said.

Voils now works as the Manager of Admissions for Maryhaven drug rehab facilities. He makes it his personal goal to get help for every person who is struggling with addiction, who wants to recover.

“in the past couple weeks at Maryhaven, we have been able to get people in same day, when they call. Which I think — it plays a huge role In getting people into treatment right when they reach out,” he said.

Maryhaven treats about 2,000 people each year.

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