Drug deaths outnumbered highway fatalities in 2014

STATE-NEWSRICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Officials say deaths in Virginia from heroin and opioid use outnumbered highway fatalities for the first time last year. Multiple media outlets report that in 2014, 728 Virginians died from drug overdoses. That same year, there were 700 highway fatalities. Highway deaths have been dropping as drug deaths increase. The highway death toll in 2013 was 741 compared with 661 from drugs. In 2009, there were 750 traffic fatalities compared with 504 deaths from heroin and opioids. The increase in drug-related deaths comes despite heightened efforts to attack heroin use in the state, a focus that was announced a year ago by Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring. Herring said last week that he hopes the new statistics help officials realize how urgently solutions are needed to solve the heroin epidemic.

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