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Report: Overdose Deaths Climbed By 7.4% In 2016


Officials say overdose deaths in Kentucky have increased to unprecedented levels.  A report released Tuesday by the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy says there were 1,404 fatal overdoses in 2016, a 7.4 percent increase from the previous year. The report found that fentanyl contributed to at least 623 overdose deaths and heroin was a factor in 456 deaths.

The highest number of fatalities occurred in Louisville, Lexington and northern Kentucky but the report found fatalities happened in nearly all communities in the state. Leslie County in eastern Kentucky had the highest number of fatal overdoses on a per capita basis.

The number of fatal overdoses was compiled with data from the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics.