Record Fatal Meth Overdoses In 2017 In West Virginia

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – State health data shows West Virginia has seen a record number of fatal overdoses from methamphetamine this year, increasing by 500 percent since 2014.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports statistics released by the West Virginia Health Statistics Center show about half of the overdoses involved the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The statistics show 30 residents of Kanawha County have died of meth-related overdoses this year, the highest in the state, followed by 28 deaths in Cabell County. They were followed by Raleigh and Wood counties with eight such deaths apiece.

Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area prevention officer Chad Napier says some overdoses occur because meth addicts don’t know they’re consuming fentanyl.

The state Board of Pharmacy has found no overdoses linked to prescription methamphetamine used to treat attention-deficit disorder.