Indiana had record number of drug overdose deaths in 2017

A preliminary federal report finds Indiana had a record number of drug overdose deaths last year, as more than 1,800 people succumbed to overdoses.

The data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that 1,840 people died of an overdose in Indiana in 2017.

The South Bend Tribune reported that’s an 18 percent increase over 2016 and a 37 percent increase over 2015.

The CDC report shows that Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia and New Jersey saw some of the nation’s biggest spikes in drug overdose deaths last year.

While the 2017 totals include deaths from all types of drugs, a vast majority of the overdoses were caused by opioids.

Nationwide, about 72,000 people died from drug overdoses last year. That's a 10 percent increase from 2016.

More than 1,000 judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, law enforcement officers, medical professionals and others gathered in Indianapolis last month for a Statewide Opioid Summit aimed at finding solutions to the opioid epidemic.

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