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VOL. 40 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 11, 2016

Tennessee sets new record in drug overdose deaths in 2015

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NASHVILLE (AP) - Tennessee health officials say the state hit a record in drug overdose deaths in 2015.

The state Department of Health on Tuesday said 1,451 people died of drug overdoses last year. In 2011, 1,062 deaths were reported, and the total has grown each year since.

Last year's overdose death rate was 22 per 100,000 people. The rate in 2011 was 16.6 per 100,000 people.

In comparison, the health department says 14.7 per 100,000 people died in car accidents last year.

Nearly 72 percent of last year's overdose deaths involved opioids.

Deaths confirmed to have involved fentanyl, which can be 40 times stronger than heroin, rose from 69 total in 2014 to 174 in 2015.

Heroin-related deaths increased from 147 in 2014 to 205 in 2015.

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