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Herring Hails Drop in Opioid Fatalities

Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring expressed gratitude in a statement issued yesterday “for the work of advocates, families, doctors, recovery communities, elected officials, public health professionals, and others who have helped reduce Virginia’s number of fatal drug overdoses for the first time in six years.” According to the latest statistics from the Virginia Department of Health, the number of fatal drug overdoses declined modestly from 1,536 in 2017 to 1,484 in 2018, while the number of fatal opioid overdoses declined from 1,230 in 2017 to 1,213 in 2018. This follows five consecutive years of increase in fatal overdoses. Fentanyl continues to account for the majority of opioid overdoses, and fatal fentanyl overdoses rose from 770 in 2017 to 813 in 2018. Meanwhile, heroin overdose deaths ticked down slightly from 558 in 2017 to 555 in 2018, and fatal prescription drug overdoses declined from 507 in 2017 to 477 in 2018.