Virginia is projected to have more than 2,000 fatal drug overdoses this year, according to a recent report from the state health department — easily outpacing the record set last year.

Opioids — particularly fentanyl — have proven to be the deadliest, accounting for the largest number of fatal overdoses, according to the report issued last month, WTOP reported.

In the second quarter of this year, the state had 634 fatal overdoses as the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the nation and shutdowns went into effect, WTOP reported. For perspective, the state had 690 fatal overdoses in all of 2010.

Before 2015, Virginia had never recorded more than 1,000 overdose deaths in a year. The state set a record in 2019 with 1,626.

If overdose deaths continue at the current rate, the toll would nearly equal the number of deaths from motor vehicle accidents and firearms combined, WTOP reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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