West Virginia has top rate of drug overdose deaths

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By JOHN RABY
Associated Press

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A report on injury prevention says West Virginia has by far the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation.

The report was released Wednesday by the nonprofit groups Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Citing three-year statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the report found that overdose deaths in West Virginia occurred at a rate of about 34 per 100,000 residents in 2011-13. That’s up dramatically from 22 deaths per 100,000 people in 2007-09. The national average is 13 deaths per 100,000 people.

West Virginia’s fatal overdose rate helped push the state to the highest death rate involving all accidents and violence. The report says such fatalities occur at a rate of 98 per 100,000 people, compared with the national rate of about 58.

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