June 12 (UPI) -- Americans dying from drugs, alcohol and suicide have reached a record high, according to research released Wednesday.
A study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, a healthcare advocacy group, details the rise in overdoses and suicides in a "scorecard" that uses data from 2017. Drug overdoses are most prevalent in West Virginia and Ohio, it said -- which saw 58 and 46 deaths per 100,000 residents, respectively.
"When we look at what's going on in mid-Atlantic states -- West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania -- those are the states that have the highest rates of drug overdose deaths in the country," David Radley, a senior scientist for the Commonwealth Fund, told NBC News.
"The rate of growth in drug overdose deaths in West Virginia is absolutely mind-boggling."
West Virginia also saw the steepest growth in overdose deaths. In 2005, it recorded less than 11 deaths per 100,000. Pennsylvania and Delaware were also listed as high-rate and high-growth states for overdose deaths.
"Nationally speaking, the death rates from suicide, alcohol, and drug overdose each rose markedly in the past decade," the report said. "The recent, sharp growth in drug overdose deaths is most alarming."
The research points out the rate of drug overdose deaths more than doubled in the United States between 2005 and 2017, and rose considerably from 2016 to 2017.
"[That is] among the highest annual increases the nation has seen," the report said. "Steady increases in suicides and deaths linked to alcohol are also concerning and represent yet another marker of complex socioeconomic and behavioral health problems."
The report said U.S. suicide rates are up almost 30 percent since 2005 while alcohol-related deaths have steadily grown by about 4 percent for much of this decade.
The Commonwealth Fund compiled the report from data in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and monitored nearly 50 factors that impact health, like health insurance, access to doctors, obesity and lifestyle risks. It assigned each state a score based on these factors.
Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Washington, Connecticut and Vermont were given the best scores overall. But the study showed states varied among the three death types. Twelve varying states rated poorly with both suicides and alcohol-related deaths, while 13 states saw high rates of drug-related deaths.