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

Feb 2, 2018

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.