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West Virginia overdose deaths set record in 2017, despite decrease after July


Charleston Gazette-Mail

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A record number of West Virginians fatally overdosed on drugs last year, but there are signs that the deaths are starting to decrease.

At last count, 909 people had died of drug overdoses in West Virginia in 2017, according to data released by the state Health Statistics Center. That’s up from 887 fatal overdoses in 2016, the previous all-time high.

The number of overdose deaths, however, slowed during the second half of last year. Fatal overdoses, which peaked last April, are on pace to drop about 25 percent since July 1. The statistics center cautions that reporting delays could account for part of the decrease in the latter half of 2017.

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