Ohio Sees Record High Heroin Overdose Deaths

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – The state Department of Health says once again a record number of Ohioans died from heroin-related overdoses in 2013 as it released the newest available figures for a problem that’s been called an epidemic and a public health crisis.

The state said Thursday that 983 people died of heroin-related overdoses in 2013, up from 697 deaths in 2012.

The heroin increase also drove the overall number of fatal drug overdoses to 2,110 deaths in 2013, up from 1,914 the previous year.

The state says prescription painkiller-related deaths also rose, to 726 in 2013 from 680 the previous year.

Fatal drug overdoses remain the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, above car crashes, a trend that began in 2007.