Deaths in Virginia from heroin and opioid use outnumbered highway fatalities for the first time last year.
In a stunning benchmark of heroin’s and other drugs’ increased use in Virginia, a pattern across much of the country, deaths from drug overdoses in 2014 cost 728 Virginians their lives.
That is compared with 700 highway fatalities that year, the most recent annual time frame available. Highway deaths have been dropping as drug deaths increase: The highway death toll in 2013 was 741 compared with 661 from drugs. In 2009, there were 750 traffic fatalities compared with 504 deaths from heroin and opioids.