Associated Press Published

Report: Nearly 2,900 West Virginians OD'd in Past 5 Years

Pills, Drugs, Prescriptions, prescription drugs

Nearly 2,900 West Virginians have overdosed on prescription painkillers or heroin over the past five years.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports that the statistics are from the state Health Statistics Center, which also said overdose deaths last year were the highest in the state since 2011. Moreover, the state is on pace for a record year in drug overdoses.

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation at nearly 34 deaths per 100,000 people — more than twice the national average.

The report by the Health Statistics Center comes ahead of President Barack Obama’s scheduled visit Wednesday to Charleston. He’ll lead a forum about the prescription drug and heroin abuse problem in West Virginia and other states.