State Health Department Has New Online Profiles on Opioid Epidemic

The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has posted new online profiles that show the rising toll the national opioid epidemic is taking on Indiana’s counties. The profiles, which include data on opioid-related overdoses and infections related to drug use, aim to help communities better monitor trends and plan and evaluate intervention efforts.

“Governor Holcomb has made attacking Indiana’s drug epidemic one of the five pillars of his administration, and these profiles are an important way to better understand how opioids are impacting every corner of our state,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome M. Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “By knowing what’s happening in their counties, local health departments, hospitals, first responders, members of law enforcement and community organizations can better assess their needs and protect Hoosiers from the devastating effects of opioid abuse. I strongly encourage all Hoosiers to take a look at where their community stands.”

The county profiles cover data from 2011 to 2015 and include rates of HIV and acute and chronic hepatitis C, as well as rates of opioid overdoses and sexually transmitted diseases. They supplement ISDH’s recently released Stats Explorer, which also includes provisional data from 2016. The Stats Explorer can be found at https://gis.in.gov/apps/isdh/StatsExplorer.

The profiles show a nearly 60 percent increase in non-fatal emergency department visits due to opioid overdoses from 2011 to 2015, while opioid-related deaths increased an average of 3.5 percent each year. The number of acute hepatitis C cases, which can indicate that injection drug use is occurring, increased by 67 percent, while soft tissue infections associated with drug use more than doubled in that period.

The county profiles are available at http://www.in.gov/isdh/26680.htm.

For important health information and updates, follow the Indiana State Department of Health on Facebook at www.facebook.com/isdh1 and Twitter at @StateHealthIN.