(AP) – The number of drug overdose deaths in Colorado decreased slightly last year but it still remains high. The Gazette in Colorado Springs reports that figures from the state Department of Public Health and Environment show 974 people died from drug overdoses last year, 38 fewer deaths than in 2017.
The overdose deaths last year marked the first decline since 2012, but the number was still the second highest on the state’s record.
The state recorded 349 deaths from prescription painkillers, dropping by 24 from the previous year.
The executive director of the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, Rob Valuck, says the work in persuading doctors to prescribe fewer opioids appears to be paying off, but too many people are still dying from the painkillers.