Opioid overdose count down in June

Published 6:06 pm Monday, July 30, 2018

There were 531 opioid overdose hospital emergency department visits across North Carolina in June compared to 568 this time last year, according to data furnished by Tyrrell Sheriff Darryl Liverman.

The majority of them were white (85%), male (57%), and the most frequent age group was between 25 and 34 years (35%).

Of the 531 opioid overdose emergency department visits there were 390 attributed to heroin and synthetic narcotics in June compared to 396 in June 2017.

The majority were white (85%), male (61%), and between the ages 25 to 34 (39%).

The highest rates of opioid overdose emergency department visits (for commonly prescribed opioids, heroin, and synthetic narcotics) occurred in Stanly (21.1 per 100,000 residents), Lee (16.5), and Haywood (16.4) counties.

The highest actual counts were Cumberland 38, Buncombe 30, and Forsyth 23.

In the northeast, no visits were reported in Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Martin, Pasquotank, or Tyrrell County in June.

The leveling off could be the beginning of a downward trend, but the 2018 year-to-date opioid overdose hospital visits is 2,752 compared with 2,693 at June 30, 2017. And the full year total in 2017 was 5,777 (highest on record) compared with 4,175 in 2016.

As of June 30 there were 1,581 opioid overdose reversals reported to North Carolina Harm Reduction Center (NCHRC) by a community member, compared to 1,954 this time last year.

From August 1, 2013, to June 30, 2018, NCHRC distributed 86,177 reversal kits to community members and law enforcement agencies across North Carolina.

As of June 30 there were 249 law enforcement agencies carrying naloxone, covering 90 counties (including Tyrrell sheriff’s officers). From January 2015 to June 30, 2018 law enforcement agencies reported 1,321 opioid overdose reversals to NCHRC.