FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A new state report says fatal drug overdoses rose nearly 15% in Kentucky last year. The report says the increased use of fentanyl was a common contributor to the record death toll. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that was identified in nearly 73% of 2021 overdose deaths. The report says 2,250 Kentuckians died from drug overdoses in 2021, with the scourge plaguing rural counties and large cities alike. It’s the first time the state surpassed 2,000 drug overdose deaths in a year. The state’s rising death count mirrored the nation’s escalating overdose epidemic.