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Tennessee Sets Record With 1,631 Overdose Deaths in 2016

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Health officials say Tennessee saw a record number of overdose deaths in 2016.

A state Department of Health news release Monday says 1,631 Tennesseans died from drug overdoses last year, a 12 percent increase from 1,451 in 2015.

Department of Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner says state data show illicit drugs, including fentanyl, are driving the increase. Fentanyl-related deaths increased 74 percent, from 169 to 294, from 2015 to 2016.

The biggest fentanyl-related increase came in people ages 25 to 34, where 42 recorded deaths in 2015 increased to 114 last year.

Officials say heroin was associated with 260 deaths in 2016, a 26 percent increase over the previous year.

Deaths where both opioids and stimulants, such as methamphetamine, were used jumped from 65 in 2015 to 111 in 2016.

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