Note: Totals are derived by adding the deaths due to heroin, cocaine and meth, then subtracting deaths caused by the use of a combination of those drugs.

According to the state medical examiner's office, there were 65 deaths statewide in 2002 as a result of methamphetamine use, 30 percent more than the previous year.

Twenty-three of those deaths occurred in Multnomah County, seven each in Clackamas and Marion counties, six in Douglas County and five in Washington County. The rest were spread throughout eight other counties.

Few of the deaths were direct meth overdoses; many were from heart problems or accidents caused by people under the influence.

Last year there were 51 cocaine deaths, an increase of 21 percent over the previous year. Heroin Ñ the leading cause of drug-related deaths in the past decade Ñ caused 101 deaths, an increase of 6 percent over 2001.

There were 44 deaths in the state last year caused by the use of a combination of illegal drugs.

Ñ Jennifer Anderson

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