Hawaii works to curb upward trend in opioid overdoses

Hawaii works to curb upward trend in opioid overdoses

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Information from the Hawaii Department of Health shows statewide opioid overdose deaths in 2016 more than doubled the amount of deaths in 2000.

The Maui News reported Sunday that state health care providers are working to reverse this trend with Native Hawaiian healers.

The department states opioid pain relievers have contributed to about 40 percent of drug overdose deaths statewide throughout the past decade. This includes substances such as OxyContin, fentanyl and other synthetics, but excludes heroin.

In 2016, 59 people died of opioid overdose compared to 25 in 2000.

Community health centers are working to gain insurance coverage for Native Hawaiian healing treatments in the next couple of weeks.

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