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Report: Drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year

MIKE STOBBE
AP Medical Writer

NEW YORK — A government report shows drug overdose deaths surged in 14 states last year.

In this file photo, family and friends of heroin overdose victims take part in a rally on Continental Square in York to bring awareness to "Don't run, call 911," in November 2015. John A. Pavoncello photo.

Rates went up in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Friday.

The highest overdose rates were in West Virginia, New Mexico, New Hampshire, Kentucky and Ohio.

For the nation, overdose deaths last year surpassed 47,000 — up 7 percent from the previous year. That’s the most reported in the nation since at least 1970, according to CDC records.

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