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West Virginia University’s Pollini calls W.Va.’s drug overdose death rate increase ‘totally unacceptable’


NCWV Media

MORGANTOWN, W.Va.  — Dr. Robin Pollini, a West Virginia University researcher, is calling for expanded treatment and a sustainable statewide naloxone distribution program after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report which highlights the mounting public health crisis surrounding drug overdose deaths.

The Mountain State continues to have the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation.

“This is a 25 percent increase in the overdose death rate in West Virginia in just one year. That is totally unacceptable,” Pollini said. “We need a sustainable statewide naloxone distribution program, and we need to expand treatment capacity so that people who want to stop using drugs can get the treatment they need. ”

Data collected from the National Vital Statistics System found that there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2016. The national overdose death rate was 19.8 per 100,000 people.

West Virginia’s overdose death rate in 2016 was 52.0 per 100,000 people, up from 41.5 in 2015. This is a substantial increase in overdose deaths in a single year.
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