“The purpose of the 2016 Tri-County Region Opioid Trends report is to provide the public, community advocates, physical and behavioral health providers, and policy makers with accurate quantitative data about a pervasive problem. The report is organized in five chapters: fatal overdoses, 9-1-1 overdose responses (non-fatal overdoses), opioid prescribing trends, syringe exchange trends and client survey, and substance use treatment. In the following pages, the key points of each chapter are summarized alongside considerations for future policy; in the discussion section, we identify data gaps and analytic challenges.
While deaths have diminished since the peak in 2011, we are disappointed to report there has been little decrease in fatal overdoses in the Tri-County region over the last three years. Although half of all opioid deaths are caused by prescription pain pills, legal opioid prescribing remains persistently high; more than one in five people in the region receives an opioid prescription every year. Although our efforts at harm reduction through syringe exchange prevent the spread of HIV and hepatitis C, the high demand for syringes suggests that injection drug use may be increasing. Finally, we are deeply concerned that many of those suffering from addiction want treatment to reach long- term recovery but do not receive it." Read the report.