ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) _ State health officials say drug overdose deaths
continued to rise in Minnesota last year.

The state Department of Health released figures Thursday showing that drug
deaths among Minnesotans rose 9 percent from 2015 to 2016. The number of drug
overdose deaths last year is nearly six times higher than it was in 2000.

Preliminary figures from Minnesota death certificates show 637 people died from
a drug overdose in 2016. That compares with 583 deaths in 2015.

Officials say prescribed opioids, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, continued
to account for the greatest number of opioid-involved deaths last year. The
report also found deaths from methamphetamine use on the rise in Greater
Minnesota.

The Health Department has launched an Opioid Dashboard to help consolidate
tracking efforts and provide information about overdoses.