2018 national opioid overdose data released

A report from ESO found that most opioid overdoses are unintentional and involve illicit drugs, and many overdose patients are interested in rehabilitation

By EMS1 Staff

AUSTIN, Texas — A report was released on national opioid overdoses that looks at the source of the overdose, the reasons for it and the patient’s interest in rehabilitation.

According to a press release, ESO, a data company that serves EMS agencies, fire departments and hospitals, gathered information from 15,000 voluntarily collected records from January to October 2018 to look at trends in opioid overdoses.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Most opioid overdoses involve illicit drugs.
  • Most opioid overdoses are unintentional.
  • Nearly a third of opioid overdose patients are interested in rehabilitation.
  • Opioid overdoses are trending down.

“Through the specialty Surveillance Form for Overdose, EMS agencies are capturing pertinent information on scene to better understand how and why patients are experiencing overdose, and whether they have any interest or current enrollment in rehabilitation programs,” ESO Chief Medical Officer Dr. Brent Meyers said. “Ultimately, these data will provide insight for EMS agencies to build focused and deliberate programs in their communities to fight this epidemic and improve health and safety for the entire community.”

Meyers added that the data show that “opioid overdoses are very different from other types of overdoses.”

“While we suspect some of the downward trend in opioid overdose incidents may be due to self or buddy treatment with the widely distributed intranasal naloxone kits, the trend toward a decrease in opioid overdose events is encouraging and, if it continues, may signal that the entirety of the national effort is beginning to produce the desired outcome. We will continue to monitor these data in the months ahead,” he said.

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