4 graphs that lend some context to opioid overdose in Philadelphia - Generocity Philly


Jun. 17, 2016 12:31 pm

4 graphs that lend some context to opioid overdose in Philadelphia

Over 1,000 overdoses have been reversed across the state since 2016, thanks to a state order that made reversal drug naloxone more accessible to the public.

Gov. Tom Wolf attends Pennsylvania's Commission on Crime and Delinquency's Opioid Symposium and discusses his administration's efforts to combat heroin epidemic.

(Photo by Flickr user Governor Tom Wolf used a Creative Commons license)

In 2014, opioid overdoses were the leading cause of accidental death in Pennsylvania, with the overdose death toll peaking at 2,400.

It was a wake-up call for the state. Last fall, Pennsylvania reacted by making the overdose reversal drug naloxone more accessible to the public. The state also gave all police officers and firefighters access to the pharmaceutical. Halfway through 2016, Pennsylvania police officers have saved 1,000 lives using naloxone.

Yet, despite the order to make naloxone accessible to the public statewide, the drug is not easy to get a hold of in Philadelphia, where 700 people died of opioid overdose in 2015, according to the Philadelphia Department of Public Health.

According to the department’s June 2016 CHART report, there were 12 opioid-related hospital emergency visits for every opioid-related death. Here are some charts that lend some context to those numbers.

How many people are dying from opioid overdoses across the country

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of deaths from drug overdose more than doubled since 2000, with 47,055 people dying in the United States in 2014. That year, opioid overdoses made up 61 percent of overdose deaths.


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The Department of Public Health also made some recommendations to lower overdose deaths in Philadelphia, with the top recommendation being that physicians prescribe opioid painkillers “less often, in lower doses, and for shorter duration.”


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