LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – While Arkansans were careful to wear masks during the pandemic, a new report shows that another health crisis was growing in Arkansas and the nation.

In a report released Monday by QuoteWizard, Arkansas drug deaths grew over 16% in the past year. The study used statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, showing Arkansas with 542 overdose deaths through April 2021, followed by 631 through April 2022.

Nationwide statistics show 103,664 people died of an overdose in 2021, compared to 68,757 in 2019 and 99,973 in 2020. West Virginia, Louisiana and Tennessee have the highest rates of overdose deaths.

Opioids are the leading cause of overdose deaths, per QuoteWizard. Since 2015, opioids have been 34% of all overdose death. Adding synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, along with semi-synthetic and natural opioids, the rate climbs to 70% of all overdose deaths.