A new report by the Virginia Department of Health shows a decline in fatal overdoses as hospitals continue to closely monitor painkiller prescriptions.
With 17 fewer overdoses in 2018, the Virginia Department of Health says they’ve seen the first decline in opioid-fueled deaths in six years. The 1,213 fatal opioid overdoses across the state last year represent a 3.4% decline. Numbers have also gone down in several Northern Virginia localities.
“Together it looks like 2018 was a good year or appears to be in the right trend. It was a decrease from 2017, so 2017 in the region had 242 overdose deaths but in 2018 there were 211,” Kathrin “Rosie” Hobron, MPH Statewide Forensic Epidemiologist with the Virginia Department of Health.
According to the report, fentanyl continues to be the leading cause for the majority of opioid overdoses. Fatal fentanyl overdoses rose from 770 in 2017 to 813 in 2018.