Opioid overdose hospital visits down

Published 1:56 pm Wednesday, October 24, 2018

There were 484 hospital emergency department visits for opioid overdose in September compared to 490 this time last year, the State Division of Public Health reported.

The majority of such patients were white (83%), male (64%), and between the ages 25 to 34 (36%).

Of the 484 ED visits, 360 were for heroin and synthetic narcotic overdose. That compared to 342 this time last year.

In the latter group, the majority were white (85%), male (67%), and between the ages 25 to 34 (40%).

There was a 5% decrease in year-to-date (January-September 2018) opioid overdose ED visits compared to last year this time (Jan-Sep 2017). However, this is still a 31% increase compared to Jan-Sep 2016.

In 2017, 1,884 North Carolinians died of an unintentional opioid-related overdose, final data just released by the North Carolina State Center for Health Statistics shows.

There are currently 373 confirmed all intents opioid-related poisoning deaths for the first quarter of 2018, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner reported.

Forty-five percent of autopsies performed in 2017 have been confirmed as poisonings, and 38.1% of autopsies performed in January-March 2018 have been confirmed as poisonings, the chief medical examiner’s office reported.

There are currently 2,293 year to date opioid overdose reversals reported to NC Harm Reduction Coalition by a community member, compared to 2,725 this time last year.

NCHRC has distributed 94,000 reversal kits to community members and law enforcement agencies across North Carolina. Kits have now been distributed in all 100 NC counties.

At the end of September 251 law enforcement agencies were carrying naloxone, and they reported 1,410 opioid overdose reversals to NCHRC since 2015.