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WVPB's continuing coverage of the opioid crisis affecting West Virginia.Deaths related to opioid abuse have more than doubled in the past decade as millions of prescriptions flooded the state. Treatment programs have been overwhelmed as families struggle to cope with the fallout of addiction. These are the stories of West Virginians impacted by the opioid epidemic, and the struggle to combat the crisis.Across Appalachia, Thousands of Children are Affected by Opioid Addiction: Who’s Helping Them?West Virginia Sees Increase in 'Family' Sex Trafficking Related to Opioid EpidemicOpioid Epidemic Putting Thousands More in Foster Care

Watch How W.Va. Opioid Deaths Doubled in the Past Decade

opioid-map.gif
Shayla Klein
/
West Virginia Public Broadcasting
This animated map shows the number of opioid-related deaths in W.Va. between 2006 and 2016

Deaths related to opioid abuse in West Virginia have more than doubled in the past decade, according to the most recent data from the West Virginia Health Statistics Center.

Opioid deaths in W.Va. have risen from 369 in 2006 to 756 in 2016. The last couple years have seen a large spike, with the difference between 2015 and 2016 being 116 deaths.

The data suggests that counties with big cities have rising numbers, while rural counties tend to have about the same amount of deaths. In Cabell county, opioid deaths over the decade quadrupled. Cabell county is the county with the biggest difference--from 30 deaths in 2006 to 121 in 2016. It's followed by Kanawha county, with 36 deaths in 2006 and 103 in 2016.

Meanwhile, deaths in counties in the center of the state remained low. Pendleton County had a total of 3 deaths over the decade--one in 2006, 2008, and 2009.


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