Tennessee sees annual increase in drug overdose deaths

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Tennessee saw its highest number of drug overdoses last year as surrounding states saw drops in the ongoing opioid crisis.

According to a report released Thursday, 1,837 people died from drug overdoses in 2018.

The Tennessean reports that the 2018 death toll from drug overdoses increased 3% from 2017 – which had previously been considered the state’s deadliest year. Meanwhile, overdoses decreased 4% nationwide.

The report compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention did not specify which drugs caused the overdoses. However, state epidemiologist Dr. Tim Jones says the increase is likely attributed to fentanyl and methamphetamine overdoses.

Jones added that it’s unclear why Tennessee’s numbers increased while nearby states like Kentucky and West Virginia saw decreases.

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