For decades, the number of fatal opioid overdoses nationwide had been steadily increasing, according to numbers from the National Vital Statistics System. But in 2018, the number of overall opioid deaths dropped to 46,802.
West Virginia had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths in the nation in 2015.4 The state had 844 drug overdose deaths in 2016. Out of that number, 708 (almost 85 percent) were due to at least one opioid. And about 40 percent of the total overdoses were due to fentanyl. The two counties with the most overdose deaths were: Cabell (132) and Kanawha (129) – all mostly due to opioids.3