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Ohio Has Second-Highest Rate Of Overdose Deaths In U.S.

John Minchillo
Associated Press

Rates of drug overdose deaths continue to increase according toa new report from the CDC. Overdose deaths rose nearly 10 percent in 2017.

Ohio has the second-highest rate in the country, with neighboring states West Virginia and Pennsylvania making up the top three. In 2017, the United States saw 70,237 deaths from drug overdoses.

The Ohio Department of Health recorded a record high4,854 drug overdose deaths in 2017, which was a 20 percent rise from the previous year. That meant there were 46.3 overdose deaths per every 100,000 people.

West Virginia's rate, the highest in the nation, was 57.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia had drug overdose death rates that were statistically higher than the national rate, which was 21.7 deaths per 100,000 people.

Synthetic opioids like fentanyl were a large reason for the death toll: From 2016 to 2017, deaths from synthetic opioids other than methadone increased 45 percent.

Copyright 2018 WOSU 89.7 NPR News

Paige Pfleger is a reporter for WOSU, Central Ohio's NPR station. Before joining the staff of WOSU, Paige worked in the newsrooms of NPR, Vox, Michigan Radio, WHYY and The Tennessean. She spent three years in Philadelphia covering health, science, and gender, and her work has appeared nationally in The Washington Post, Marketplace, Atlas Obscura and more.