Report shows overdose deaths in Kentucky steady, but heroin deaths on the rise
A report outlines the drugs most commonly linked to overdose deaths in the state -- as well as the counties that record the most deaths.
Thursday, July 31st 2014, 3:17 pm EDT
Thursday, July 31st 2014, 3:33 pm EDT
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A new report from the Commonwealth of Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet found that deaths from drug overdoses stayed steady in 2013 -- but overdose deaths related specifically to heroin are on the rise.
According to a news release from the state agency, 1,007 people died from overdoses, compared with 1,004 who died in 2012.
But of the 722 overdose deaths autopsied by the Kentucky Medical Examiner in 2013, 230 -- or 31.9 percent -- were linked to heroin, compared with 143 -- or 19.6 percent -- in 2012.
The numbers contained in the 2013 Overdose Fatality Report were compiled from the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office, the Kentucky Injury Prevention & Research Council, and the Kentucky Office of Vital Statistics. The report was mandated under a provision in HB 1, which was passed in 2012.
Last year's report tracked Kentucky residents who died of a drug overdose regardless of where the death occurred; this year's report counts overdose deaths that occurred in Kentucky, regardless of where the decedent was from.
The report found that Jefferson County, Ky. had the most overdose deaths of any county, with a total of 191. The youngest overdose fatality in the state was 18 years old, while the oldest was 78. Among the overdose deaths autopsied by the Kentucky Medical Examiner's Office in 2013, morphine was the most detected controlled substance, present in 43.49 percent of all autopsied cases, followed by Alprazolam at 34.76 percent, and heroin at 31.9 percent.
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