Washington State DOH Launches New Drug Dashboard
It is no secret that drug overdoses are on the rise. Washington State, and the nation, has seen numbers increase over the last few years with opioid related deaths leading the way in many areas.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) recently launched a new dashboard to track overdose deaths and hospitalizations in all 39 counties. The dashboards tracks all overdose deaths and hospitalizations, not just those as a result of opioids.
The most recent data available on the dashboard is from 2021, but it breaks down drug overdose deaths and hospitalizations in categories relating to age, sex, and ethnicity. One look at the data shows opioids and synthetic opioids are the main drivers with psychostimulants the third leading cause of overdoses in the state. Even though Heroin is an opioid and cocaine a stimulant, those drugs are tracked in their own category.
How Bad is it in Washington State?
In 2021 the State had over 7,100 total overdoses with roughly one-third of them fatal. The graphic below lays out the exact number of fatal overdoses and those that resulted in survival and hospitalization.
Age Related Statistics
Breaking it down further, the age ranges that were most impacted in the five year period between 2016 and 2021 might surprise you. The sharpest increases in overdose deaths came in the 45-54 age group with the 55-64 demographic seeing a significant uptick in 2020 to 2021.
Sex Related Statistics
The data shows men at a higher rate of overdose death than women in that 5 year span from 2106-2021.
New information from the National Safety Council states that while seven out ten preventable opioid overdose deaths were men, since 1999 opioid deaths involving women are outpacing men nationally.
Race and Ethnicity Statistics
Some of the most revealing data comes in the race and ethnicity breakdown. The numbers here are based per 100,000 of population in each classification.
From 2016-2021 the highest rate based on cases per 100,000 of population are among Native Americans with Blacks and those considered mixed race following. In some races, more significant spikes begin around 2019 which is roughly when the fentanyl epidemic began.