WV leads nation in opioid overdose epidemic

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, December 21, 2018, the U.S. opioid overdose epidemic continues to evolve. In 2016, 66.4% of the 63632 drug overdose deaths involved an opioid.

In 2017, among 70,237 drug overdose deaths, 47,600 (67.8%) involved opioids, which increases across age groups, racial/ethnic groups, county urbanization levels, and in multiple states. From 2013 to 2017, synthetic opioids contributed to increases in drug overdose death rates in several states. From 2016 to 2017, synthetic opioid-involved overdose death rates increased 45.2%.

The 63,632 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016 represented a 21.4% increase from 2015; two thirds of these deaths involved an opioid.

From 2015 t 2016, drug overdose deaths increased in all drug categories examined; the largest increase occurred among deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (synthetic opioids), which includes illicitly manufactured fentanyl (IMF).

The highest prescription opioid-involved death rates in 2017 were in West Virginia (17.2 per 100,000), followed by Maryland (11.5) and Utah (10.8).