Missouri, Kansas see uptick in drug overdose deaths

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For the first time on record the odds of accidentally dying from an opioid overdose in the United States are now greater than those of dying in an automobile accident.

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Federal data indicates the number of drug overdose deaths has increased in Kansas and Missouri even as national drug fatalities decline.

The Kansas City Star reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released provisional data in July projecting overdose deaths in Kansas rose from 326 in 2017 to 341 in 2018. It projects Missouri’s overdose deaths rose from 1,406 in 2017 to 1,635 in 2018.

Randall Williams is the director of Missouri’s health department. He says more than 1,100 of Missouri’s overdose deaths in 2018 involved opioids.

A Kansas drug abuse task force found more than 80% of overdoses from 2012 to 2016 involved a prescription medication and one-third involved methamphetamines.

Both states have expanded access to naloxone, a drug that counteracts opioid overdoses.

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