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Hawaii drug overdose deaths relatively low

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 8:03 a.m. HST, Oct 7, 2013

Hawaii and Wisconsin are tied at 34th in the U.S. for deaths by drug overdose, primarily from prescription drugs.

A new study by the Trust for America's Health finds that prescription drug abuse has quickly become a top public health concern, as drug overdose deaths have doubled in 29 states since 1999.

West Virginia had the highest number of drug overdose deaths, at 28.9 per every 100,000 people - a 605 percent increase from 1999, when the rate was only 4.1 per every 100,000, TFAH found.

North Dakota had the lowest rate at 3.4 per every 100,000 people.

"Fifty Americans die a day from prescription drug overdoses, and more than 6 million suffer from prescription drug abuse disorders," said Andrea Gielen, ScD, Director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy. "This is a very real epidemic - and warrants a strong public health response," she said.


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