Overdose deaths exceed traffic fatalities in Minnesota

Number of heroin and painkiller overdoses higher than traffic fatalities in 2013

The Minnesota Department of Health says the number of people who have died from heroin and prescription painkiller overdoses in 2013 is greater than the number of people killed in traffic accidents.

The health department’s figures show 507 people died of drug overdoses last year, while 374 people died in motor vehicle accidents.

Hennepin County Attorney Pete Orput tells the Star Tribune that in the past two years his office has prosecuted 12 cases related to drug overdose deaths. Orput says sometimes he feels like he’s losing the war against drugs.

The health department says that since 2000, nearly 5,000 people statewide have died from overdoses.