CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Overdose deaths in West Virginia declined during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, health officials said.
From March 2021 to March 2022, West Virginia saw 1,485 overdose deaths, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That was a decrease of 3.6% from the 1,541 deaths for the year ending in March 2021.
Five other states also saw overdose deaths drop, the CDC said. West Virginia’s percentage decrease was the second-highest among all states to Virginia’s 6.7%.
West Virginia has by far the nation’s highest overdose death rate.
“West Virginia is starting to plateau and likely seeing a slight downward trend,” said Dr. Matthew Christiansen, director of the Department of Health and Human Resources’ Office of Drug Control Policy. “We are encouraged by CDC’s data and will continue our efforts to end West Virginia’s substance use epidemic.”