Oregon 21st among states in drug overdose deaths

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A national survey shows Oregon ranks 21st among states in the rate of drug overdose deaths, the majority of them now from prescription drugs.

The Trust for America’s Health said Monday that, nationally, deaths from prescription drugs outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined.

It also says that in 29 states, including Oregon, drug overdose deaths now exceed deaths related to motor vehicles.

The group says Oregon’s death rate from overdoses is nearly 13 per 100,000 in population. That’s double the rate in 1999.

Nationally, the rates range from 3.4 per 100,000 in North Dakota to nearly 29 per 100,000 in West Virginia.

The group said Oregon has taken eight out of ten steps regarded as promising in combatting prescription drug abuse — such as trying to curb doctor shopping.

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