COLUMBUS, Ohio — The coroner serving the greater Columbus area says overdose deaths blamed largely on opioids continue to spike compared to a year ago.

Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz (AN’-ih-hee ohr-TEEZ’) said Tuesday the county in central Ohio saw 268 overdose deaths through June of this year.

That’s an 88 percent jump from the same period a year ago.

Ortiz says four of every five are opioid-related deaths and more than half involve the synthetic painkiller fentanyl, which has been blamed for many overdose deaths in Ohio and across the country.

Ortiz says the majority of victims continue to be men, while overdose deaths among blacks are rising.

The state says a record 4,050 Ohioans died of overdoses in 2016.

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