Kentucky drug overdose deaths increase by 16 percent
Kentucky overdose deaths rose 16 percent in 2015, the first year state lawmakers toughened penalties for traffickers and increased spending on addiction programs.
The 2015 Overdose Fatality Report shows 1,248 people died of drug overdoses in Kentucky last year compared to 1,071 deaths in 2014. Heroin accounted for 28 percent of all overdose deaths. But state officials were most concerned with fentanyl, an opioid often mixed with heroin. Fentanyl accounted for 421 overdose deaths in 2015, or 34 percent of all overdose deaths in the state. In 2014, fentanyl accounted for 121 overdose deaths.
Jefferson County, which includes Louisville, had the most overdose deaths and the largest increase of deaths with 204 more than the previous year. Kenton County had 71 more overdose deaths than 2014 while Fayette County had 29 additional deaths.
You can view the full report, which includes the list of overdose deaths by county, below this story.