Researchers: Fentanyl deaths up 122 percent in W.Va.

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 file photo shows pills of the painkiller hydrocodone at a pharmacy in Montpelier, Vt. Accidental overdoses aren't the only deadly risk from using powerful prescription painkillers _ the drugs may also contribute to heart-related deaths and other fatalities, according to research published Tuesday, June 14, 2016. "As bad as people think the problem of opioid use is, it's probably worse," said Wayne Ray, the lead author and a health policy professor at Vanderbilt University's medical school. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) — West Virginia University researchers say fentanyl deaths are up 122 percent in the state.
The college released the results of a study into the powerful synthetic opioid Tuesday.
Analysts looked at all drug-related deaths in West Virginia between 2005 to 2017. They found that between 2015 and 2017 deaths from fentanyl were 122% higher than from 2005 to 2014.
The study cites federal Centers For Disease Control and Prevention statistics that say West Virginia leads the nation in deaths from fentanyl and has the highest per capita rate of overdose deaths in the country.
Fentanyl is sometimes blended into heroin or sold as a counterfeit prescription pill, leading drug users to unknowingly take the substance.
The study recommends widespread distribution of naloxone, an overdose reversing medication.