CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The deadly drug overdose epidemic continues to rise across the country, which is evident in a new U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released on Thursday.
There were 70,237 drug overdose deaths in the United States in 2017, an increase in nearly 10 percent than the year before.
Statistics from the CDC shows that Ohio had the second-highest rate of overdose deaths in the country last year. Ohio was second behind West Virginia and in front of the state with the third-highest rate, Pennsylvania.
According to the report, Ohio’s observed age-adjusted drug overdose death rates in 2017 was 46.3 per 100,000 standard population.
The national drug overdose death rate of 21.7 per 100,000 is nearly 4 times higher than the rate in 1999.
The Ohio Department of Health says 4,854 overdose deaths were reported in 2017. Synthetic opioids like fentanyl were a large reason for the increase.
In addition to the drug overdose statistics, the CDC also released data showing the U.S. life expectancy is on the decline. The trend is “largely driven by deaths from drug overdose and suicide,” according to CDC Director Robert Redfield.