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U.S. Injury Death Rates: West Virginia, The Most Dangerous State To Live In

West Virginia Dangerous

The nonprofit organization Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation have compiled a report on injury-related deaths across the United States and while the report highlights growing concerns regarding fatal drug overdoses across the country, one state stands out in particular: West Virginia.

West Virginia, according to the report, had the highest rate of injury-related deaths among all the states, including the District of Columbia. As if that wasn’t a crowning achievement in itself, the state also had the highest rate of drug overdose deaths of any state.

North Dakota had the lowest rate of deaths as a result of drug overdoses.

West Virginia saw 97.9 injury-related deaths per 100,000 people.

New York saw the lowest injury-related deaths with a rate of just 40.3 per 100,000 people.

Corinne Peek-Asa, associate dean for research at the University of Iowa College of Public Health, pointed out that the reported suicide rates have remained largely stagnant over the last 20 years and have accounted for roughly 41,000 deaths on an annual basis, U.S. News indicated in a report.

Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust for America’s Health, was quoted by U.S. News in the aforementioned report as having said that injuries are not only predictable, but “preventable” and that it’s “not rocket science, but it does require common sense and investment in good public health practice.”

Injuries are not just acts of fate (…) Research shows they are pretty predictable and preventable. It’s not rocket science, but it does require common sense and investment in good public health practice.

Trust for America’s report found that half of the drug overdoses, or what is 22,000 per year, are related to prescription drugs such as OxyContin and the like. Abuse of such prescription drugs has helped fuel a doubling of first-time heroin use in just seven years, from 2006 to 2013. In regards to such abuse, Levi called it “a national epidemic” which impacts some states more so than others.

Prescription drug abuse is a national epidemic, but it impacts some states more than others

What do you think should be done to combat the growing prescription drug abuse problem in the country?

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