TRUMBULL CO., Ohio (WYTV) – One way that Trumbull County tracks drug overdoses is by zip code. Last year, the largest number of overdoses — by far — was in 44483, which is northeast Warren, a large part of Champion and a small area of Howland.
“I think the flaw in the analysis is to pigeonhole one area of the city over another,” said Warren Safety Service Director Enzo Cantalamessa.
The analysis compiled by the county’s Mental Health and Recovery Board and Combined Health District shows 1,196 overdoses in Trumbull County in 2017. The majority of those — 265 or 22.2 percent — happened in the 44483 zip code.
Cantalamessa called the numbers skewed.
“They’re not necessarily originating out of the 44483 zip code but by happenstance, the overdoses are occurring there,” he said.
Cantalamessa said 44483 has the most overdoses because it’s the most populated section of Warren and has the most commercial corridors — plazas and large parking lots.
“Greater pockets of traffic concentration, also where overdoses frequently occur,” Cantalamessa said.
“We know that Warren has the highest number of drug overdoses,” said April Caraway, executive director of the Mental Health and Recovery Board.
She said, according to police, the largest amount of drug trafficking is in Warren.
“So people are coming from the other areas to buy heroin, or fentanyl or other opioids in Warren.”
“It’s just by virtue of geography and little else that 8-3 seems to be artificially showing a greater concentration of overdoses,” Cantalamessa said.
Champion’s business district is also in 44483, but the Champion police chief said most of the overdoses are in Warren.
But it’s not just 44483. The zip code with the second most overdoses was 44485, which is Warren’s west side. They were followed by 44446, which is Niles, and 44484 — Vienna, Howland and southeast Warren.
Sixty-four percent of Trumbull County’s overdoses in 2017 happened in those four zip codes.