Associated Press Published

West Virginia Drug Overdoses Top 1,000 in 2017

Drugs, Drug abuse, Drug overdose, overdose

New West Virginia health information shows drug overdose deaths have increased to more than 1,000 in a one-year period for the first time.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the West Virginia Health Statistics Center’s most recent data also shows 870 deaths involved an opioid. That’s about 86 percent of the 1,011 recorded so far for 2017. In 2016, 759 people out of 890 people suffered fatal opioid-related overdoses.

The 2017 numbers are not final.

The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources said preliminary 2018 data shows 498 fatal overdoses in the first six months in the state. The most recent numbers are from an Aug. 15 analysis.

Between 2016 and 2017, there was also more than a doubling both of deaths related to amphetamine and methamphetamine use.