Overview of opioids in Tyrrell County

Published 12:41 pm Tuesday, April 24, 2018

There were 1,699 confirmed opioid-related poisoning deaths in 2017 across North Carolina, according to data furnished by Tyrrell Sheriff Darryl Liverman.

That’s a 19% increase in opioid-related poisoning deaths in 2017  compared to 2016.

There were 457 opioid overdose hospital emergency department (ED) visits last month compared to 371 March 2017. The majority were white (82%), male (62%), and between the ages 25 to 34 (39%).

Within that total there were 302 heroin overdose ED visits in March 2018 compared to 226 in March 2017. Heroin overdoses account for 66% of all opioid overdose ED visits for March 2018. The majority were white (82%), male (68%), and between the ages 25 to 34 (50%).

The highest rates of opioid overdose ED visits occurred in Haywood, Buncombe, and Catawba counties.

There are currently 935 year to date opioid overdose reversals reported by a community member to state health officials, compared to 1,065 this time last year.

Over the past five years state government distributed 74,723 reversal kits to community members and law enforcement agencies across North Carolina.

As of March 31 there were 224 law enforcement agencies carrying naloxone, covering 87 counties, including Tyrrell.

From January 1 through March 31 law enforcement agencies reported 1,199 opioid overdose reversals.

Cocaine, heroine and synthetic narcotics began a rapid upward movement on the charts in 2013, and by 2016 the numbers of deaths had multiplied five to six times.

In northeastern counties the uptick was mainly cocaine and other synthetic narcotics, where the increase was 4-5 times the 2013 figures. Heroine deaths in the northeast went up in 2014 and 2015 and leveled off in 2016.

Opioid-related deaths reported in Tyrrell County were one each in 2007, 2011, 2012, 2014, and two in 2016.