The state Department of Health says a record number of Ohioans died from drug overdoses last year as it warned that surging painkiller abuse is once again worsening the crisis.
The state said Thursday that 2,482 people died from overdoses in 2014, an 18 percent increase over the previous year.
The Health Department says abuse of the painkiller fentanyl, which is often combined with heroin, is a significant contributor to the increase.
The agency says fentanyl was involved in 502 drug overdose deaths last year, up from only 84 the previous year.
Last year's overdose deaths included a record 1,177 related to heroin, up from 986 in 2013.
Fatal drug overdoses remain the leading cause of accidental death in Ohio, above car crashes, a trend that began in 2007.