Deaths from drug overdoses in Colorado are reaching a crisis level. Not only does the state’s death rate from overdose top the national average, but those numbers have increased across the state.
Arapahoe County Coroner Dr. Kelly Lear-Kaul sees the fallout from those statistics all the time. Her county’s drug overdose rate has doubled from fifteen years ago, with about three quarters of the cases involving prescription painkillers like Oxycodone, an opioid medication better known by names like Percocet or OxyContin.
Lear-Kaul saw 100 drug overdose deaths in the county last year, she says while showing a visitor her autopsy room. Two bodies on gurneys await an exam to determine how they died.
“They fill up the gurneys," she says, and the families that come to identify the bodies have varied reactions -- some are surprised. Click here to read more....