Heroin, prescription drug overdose deaths spike in Vermont

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) – A new report by Vermont’s Health Department shows that drug overdoses from both heroin and prescription drugs spiked in the state last year.

The report was released to the Vermont Legislature last week. Last year, 104 people died from prescription drug overdoses, up from 66 in 2015. According to previous annual overdose reports, the overdose deaths in 2016 were the highest in at least the past decade.

About half of these deaths are due to fentanyl overdoses, which is a prescription opioid but is often made illegally.

There was also a steep increase in the number of heroin deaths, nearly doubling from 29 in 2015 to 51 in 2016.

According to the report, these figures are preliminary and could change if the department gets new information on certain cases.

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