ST. PAUL, Minn. — 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.

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