Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring announced on Oct. 7 that 728 people in the state died from heroin and prescription drug overdoses in 2014, compared to 661 in 2013.
The 728 drug deaths top the 700 traffic deaths in 2014, reported by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
Fatal drug overdoses in Virginia have gone up by 57 percent over the past five years and have taken almost 3,000 lives, according to a press release from Herring's office.
Herring stated in the release:
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I'm proud of the progress we've made, the infrastructure we've helped build, and the awareness we've brought to the problem, but we must remain steadfast in our efforts and remember that behind every overdose and every case of addiction there are families and communities who suffer.
Fusion reported in June that a study by the Trust of America’s and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that drug overdoses were the number one cause of death in 25 states, and were responsible for more accidental deaths than car accidents in 36 states and Washington D.C.
According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control in March, there were 43,982 fatal drug overdoses in 2013.