According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of drug overdose deaths in 2016 was five times higher than in 1999. On average, 115 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. The District’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) tallied 83 opioid deaths in 2014; 114 in 2015; 231 in 2016; and 279 in 2017. Overall, there was a 236% increase in fatal overdoses due to opioid use from 2014 to 2017. However, opioid-related fatalities during fiscal year 2018 have been on a downward trend and appear to mirror 2016 levels.
In an effort to reduce the number of deaths due to opioid overdose, DC Health established its Naloxone Distribution program in 2016 with two pilot sites, FMCS and HIPS. Naloxone, an FDA-approved medication that temporarily reverses the effects of opioids such as heroin, methadone and morphine is purchased by the District for community-wide distribution. Partner agencies subsequently distribute Naloxone to bystanders and other community members in specific “hotspots” or areas where overdoses have frequently occurred. The fiscal year 2018 period will conclude the third year of the project.
By the numbers...
Harm Reduction Clients Served
Naloxone Kits Distributed
Narcan Kits Distributed
Of all reported overdoses where narcan was administered were successfully reversed.
Locality of Reported Overdoses
Locale of Reported Overdoses
Opioid Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Training
PERSONS ATTENDED 10NARCAN TRAININGS
OVER THE PAST YEAR,
SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT
Of the total number of reported persons who experienced an overdose, nearly 10% were linked to substance abuse treatment.
On August 1, 2018, DC Health partnered with The District of Columbia Department of Human Services (DHS) to launch its Naloxone Pilot Program in six local homeless shelters. TWO overdoses were reported and successfully reversed at the 801 East Shelter during August and ONE overdose reported and successfully reversed at the same location in September. A total of SEVEN doses were used in the reversal of the three overdose cases.