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Overdose Deaths Triple in North Carolina

One state in North Carolina leads the state in accidental drug overdose deaths. Gaston County has the dubious distinction, primarily because of the disturbing increase in prescription drug abuse. Many times these overdoses are a result of mixing the prescription drugs with alcohol and other drugs.

“You don’t get the good ole alcoholics anymore,” said Kevin Oliver, a licensed clinical addiction specialist at Phoenix Counseling Center in Gastonia. “Most people seeking treatment have multiple drugs they’re struggling with.”

In 2009, deaths from overdoses increase 42 percent from 36 in 2008 to 51 in 2009, according to the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics. In the past ten years, overdose deaths have tripled in Gaston County and nearly tripled in North Carolina.


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