Map of North Carolina highlighting Wilkes County

Map of North Carolina highlighting Wilkes County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A drug overdose prevention program in North Carolina cut overdose deaths by 69% in 2 years while prescribing levels for addictive painkillers remained flat, community leaders there said Wednesday.

 

In 2007, Wilkes County, N.C., had the third highest drug overdose death rate in the country. But it used an innovative program working with physicians, pharmacists, law enforcement, public health officials, and community leaders to address the issue, producing 28 straight months of declines in overdose deaths.

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