CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The number of fatal drug overdoses in West Virginia hit a record last year, according to preliminary state data showing at least 1,275 residents died.
The increase comes after two years of declining numbers in a state often called the epicenter of the national drug crisis, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported.READ MORE: My Brothers Keeper Program Offering Mini-Grants For Outreach Activities
The new numbers are a 25% increase from the 1,019 overdose deaths in 2017, which previously was the only year overdose deaths exceeded 1,000 people in West Virginia.READ MORE: National Women's History Museum Seeks Nominations For U.S. Quarter Series
The overdose data was compiled from death certificates certified by the Office of the Chief Medical Officer and are not final, meaning numbers could rise.
The new numbers are a 45% increase from 2019, when 878 people died. Across the state, 15 counties at least doubled the number of fatal overdoses between 2019 and 2020 and eight had fewer deaths.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Update: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
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