West Virginia Overdose Reports Cites Victim Factors

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – State health officials say analysis of West Virginia’s overdose deaths in 2016 “clearly identifies factors” in victim profiles that show opportunities for intervention before other deadly overdoses.

West Virginia has the nation’s highest drug overdose death rate and recorded 884 fatalities in 2016.

The analysis shows 91 percent of victims had documented history within the state’s program for monitoring addictive prescription drugs within the previous year, and 49 percent of the females filled a prescription within 30 days before they died.

The report – now online at – shows the deceased were far more likely to have three or more drug prescribers and get prescriptions filled at four or more pharmacies.

It shows 71 percent used emergency medical services, and 31 percent received the opioid antidote naloxone.