West Virginia has the highest rate of overdose deaths in the U.S., according to a report released last week, further spotlighting Appalachia's festering drug-abuse problem that is also fueling a rise in hepatitis C in one of the nation's poorest regions.
There were 34 drug-overdose deaths per 100,000 West Virginia residents from 2011 to 2013, up significantly from 22 deaths per 100,000 people from 2007- 2009, according to the report released by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
West Virginia's drug-overdose death rate is more than double the national average, according to the report. It found that West Virginia's rate far surpasses the second-highest state, New Mexico, which had 28.2 overdose deaths per 100,000 people. The national average is 13.4 overdose deaths.—Associated Press