CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WOWK/WBOY) — West Virginia was one of only six states that showed improvement in decreasing the percentage of overdose deaths over the past year, while the country overall saw a 6.6% increase in reported overdoses.
According to the Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), West Virginia overdose deaths were down 3.63% between March 2021 and March 2022.
The other states to show improvement were Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia.
“West Virginia is starting to plateau and likely seeing a slight downward trend,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, Director of the Office of Drug Control Policy (ODCP), West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR). “We are encouraged by CDC’s data and will continue our efforts to end West Virginia’s substance use epidemic.”
This comes after more than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, setting a second record high in a row, and marking a 15% increase from the previous record, which was set in 2020.