Arkansas drug-related deaths may be miscounted
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — State officials say that drug-related deaths in Arkansas are potentially being miscounted or not reported at all.
KATV-TV reports that there were nearly 350 drug-related deaths reported to the state Crime Lab last year. But the lab believes coroners aren’t properly recording and tracking overdose and substance-abuse deaths.
Arkansas Coroner’s Association President Kevin Cleghorn says the tracking problem stems from all 75 coroners in the state using different reporting practices, some not even keeping drug-death records. Cleghorn says the different practices have led to inaccurate drug-related death data in the state.
State officials have announced that coroners can soon use a free, standardized online reporting system that allows coroners to document deaths and share information with the Crime Lab. The optional system will be ready for use by March.
Information from: KATV-TV, http://www.katv.com/