Federal statistics show that drug overdose deaths have reached record levels in rural parts of southern Colorado.
The Denver Post reports that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded the highest level of yearly overdose deaths in eight Colorado counties stretching from Rio Grande east to Baca. The same level, 20 or more deaths per 100,000 residents, was also reported in the more populated Denver and Adams counties.
While all Colorado counties except Mineral have experienced a rising drug death rate from 2002 to 2014, the figures show that Baca County's death rate has nearly quintupled in that period.
Tamara Keeney with the Colorado Health Institute says heroin and prescription drugs are fueling the increase in drug deaths.