Opinion Columns & Blogs

Sharp rise in heroin deaths is worrisome

Local officials should be concerned that the number of deaths from heroin in Sedgwick County increased from three in 2011 to 21 in 2015 – a 600 percent jump. Nationally, there were nearly 13,000 heroin deaths in 2015, a 400 percent increase from 2010. The rise is linked to the increase in addiction to prescription painkillers, which are also causing deaths. The number of oxycodone deaths in Sedgwick County increased from 30 in 2011 to 49 in 2015. Though the total number of heroin and oxycodone deaths in Sedgwick County are still relatively small compared with other parts of the country, the increase is worrisome and needs attention.

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