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Drug deaths down in Carbon

Carbon County saw a slight decrease in the number of drug-related deaths in 2022, but an increase in the number of suicides.

Last week, Commissioners’ Chairman Wayne Nothstein read through the annual coroner’s report, noting that there were 31 deaths because of drug-related activity.

This number is slightly lower than 2021, when there were 39 deaths related to drug activity. It falls in line with 2020 when there were 30 deaths because of drugs.

Carbon County had 21 suicides last year, an increase of approximately 50% over 2021.

Nothstein said that last year eight of those suicides were veterans.

Coroner Robert Miller said in his report that 2022 “was a very busy year, with the amount of suicides continuing to increase.”

Miller said that the pandemic has continued to put a strain on his department.

Last year, a total of 60 COVID-19 related deaths were reported through the coroner’s office. This number does not represent county residents who died at hospitals in other counties.

“At times, our resources, as a Class 6 county, are pressed to the limit,” Miller said.

In addition, Miller reported that there were a total of 657 cases processed through his office, including eight trauma related deaths; four drownings, two homicides and two because of carbon monoxide.

He thanked the local and state police, fire departments and Emergency Medical Services, as well as the county district attorney’s office for working together to help his office complete thorough investigations.

Miller said that his department has seven deputy coroners who are all certified under the state District Attorney’s office.