Colorado Overdose Deaths Tick Up 5 Percent

December 21, 2015
Photo: OxyContin pill bottle ASSOCIATED PRESS
OxyContin pills are arranged for a photo at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. 

new CDC data says.

In 2013, 846 people died from a drug overdose. In 2014, that figure jumped to 899. That's not enough to be statistically significant though, the CDC says.

Neighboring states saw bigger spikes. New Mexico increased by nearly 21 percent, Wyoming by 12.8 percent, and Nebraska by 10.8 percent. 

The AP reports that the nation's 47,000 overdose deaths in 2014 were the most since 1970:

The count includes deaths involving powerful painkillers, sedatives, heroin, cocaine and other legal and illicit drugs.

West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio had the highest overdose death rates. In West Virginia, the overdose rate was 35.5 per 100,000; the national rate was about 15 per 100,000.

The CDC says opioids like heroin and prescription pain killers are responsible for most overdose deaths. Heroin has hit southeastern Colorado, including Pueblo, particularly hard.