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Substance Use Disorders

Unintentional Medication and Drug Poisoning Deaths Count - Buncombe (with comparisons)

362015

Data Description & Source

Description: Number of people in Buncombe who died of unintentional poisoning due to medication/drug overdose.

Notes: These figures are counts of deaths and may not be comparable to counties or regions with different populations sizes.

Source: NC DPH, Chronic Disease and Injury, Injury and Violence Prevention Branch. Revised Oct. 2015. http://www.injuryfreenc.ncdhhs.gov/DataSurveillance/poisoning/UnintentionalMedicationandDrugPoisoningDeathsbyCounty-1999-2015.pdf

To view comparisons, click indicator title and the "Toggle Comparisons" button.

Story Behind the Curve

According to the CDC, more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record. The majority of drug overdose deaths involve an opioid. 78 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. An epidemic of unintentional poisoning deaths continues to affect North Carolina. Since 1999, the number of these deaths has increased by more than 320 percent, from 279 to 1,178 in 2014 . The vast majority of unintentional deaths are drug or medication-related, occurring when people misuse or abuse these drugs. Many of these deaths involve opioid analgesic deaths involving medications such as methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone have increased significantly in North Carolina. Opioid analgesics are now involved in more drug deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. View more information here.

To the right is a map of the rate of unintentional prescription opioid overdose deaths and dispensing rates for outpatient prescription opioid analgesics created by from the Substance Treatment and Referral(STAR) Program Report.







What Works

Strategies to prevent overdose deaths include:

  • Improve opioid prescribing to reduce exposure to opioids, prevent abuse, and stop addiction.
  • Expand access to evidence-based substance abuse treatment, such as Medication-Assisted Treatment, for people already struggling with opioid addiction.
  • Expand access and use of naloxone.
  • Promote the use of state prescription drug monitoring programs.
  • Improve detection of the trends of illegal opioid use by working with state and local public health agencies, medical examiners and coroners, and law enforcement.

For more information, visit the CDC.

Action Plan

Substance Use Disorders in Pregnancy-Community Team Initiative is working with CHIP staff to identify results and indicators to facilitate collective efforts to reduce substance use in Buncombe County.

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