In 2016, opioids killed more than 42,000 people in the United States. 40% of these deaths involved a prescription opioid(1).

In Michigan, drug deaths have surpassed the number of car accidents deaths(2). Opiate abuse and overdose continues to increase and includes many deaths due to illegally obtained drugs, in addition to prescribed ones. Opiate abuse and overdose continues to increase and includes many deaths due to illegally obtained drugs, in addition to prescribed ones.

The CDC-funded University of Michigan Injury Prevention Center, in collaboration with the Michigan High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), has developed the System for Opioid Overdose Surveillance (S.O.S.). This project will increase the timeliness and quality of overdose reporting so that regional strategies to reduce fatal and non-fatal overdoses can be developed.

The System for Opioid Overdose Surveillance links data from emergency departments, emergency medical services, and medical examiners which allows for accurate assessment of the number of non-fatal and fatal overdoses without over or undercounting cases. The project is currently reporting in Washtenaw County and the surrounding area, and is expanding in 2018.

Emergency department data from additional Michigan hospitals will make the expansion of the project possible, ultimately assisting in developing a successful response to the opioid crisis statewide.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017, Oct.) Opioid Overdose. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html.
  2. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (2018.) Prescription Drugs and Opioids in Michigan. Retrieved from https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71550_2941_4871_79584—,00.html.

On June 22, hospital representatives met in Lansing to learn more about the System for Opioid Overdose Surveillance and about how they could help.