Colorado records modest decline in drug overdose deaths

DENVER -- New numbers show a positive trend in the battle against the epidemic of drug overdoses in Colorado.

For the first time in six years, the number of people dying from overdosing has declined.

New needle exchange boxes now appear in city parks in Denver, hoping to help in the battle against drug overdoses.

Last year, 974 people died of a drug overdose in Colorado. that is down from 1,012 who died in 2017. It's the first year for a decrease in those numbers since 2012.

Experts believe the drops is due largely to the greater accessibility of Narcan, a medication that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose.

However, officials warn deaths from methamphetamine, cocaine and fentanyl continue to rise.

While the statewide numbers are down, overdose deaths in the city and county of Denver were up to 172 last year.

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