x
Breaking News
More () »

WZDX

Spike in drug overdoses in Shelby County over past month

“The contributing factors behind the overdose spike are not clear, but the trend is concerning,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department Director.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department says there has been a spike in drug overdoses over the past month.

Health officials say from April 6, 2020 to May 7, 2020, seven separate spike alerts were triggered.

From the health department:

The Shelby County Health Department monitors drug overdose activity in Shelby County by tracking incidents reported by first responder organizations and the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in a database called ODMAP. ODMAP allows SCHD to collect both suspected fatal and non-fatal overdose activity, in real time across jurisdictions in Shelby County. Recent data shows that over the 32-day period that ended on May 7, 2020, 7 separate spike alerts were triggered, including the following: 

  • 30 Day Alert for April 7, 2020 – May 7, 2020: 391 total suspected overdose events reported, 58 fatal, which is the highest count to date in a 30-day period, since record-keeping began on January 1, 2019.
  • 14 Day Alert for April 23, 2020 – May 7, 2020: 209 total suspected overdose events reported, 35 fatal, the highest count recorded to date in a 14-day period. 
  • 7 Day Alert for April 30, 2020 – May 7, 2020: 131 total suspected overdose events reported, 20 fatal, the highest count recorded to date in a 7-day period.
  • 24 Hour Alert for May 5, 2020: 20 total reported suspected overdose events, 4 fatal. 

Note, the spike alerts are not specific to only opioid overdoses, but to all drug overdoses, and may include overdoses of more than one substance. All data is provisional and subject to change. 

“The contributing factors behind the overdose spike are not clear, but the trend is concerning,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department Director. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that those with substance use issues continue to have access to the care they need, including treatment and community access to Narcan, which can reverse opioid overdoses if administered promptly.”

RELATED: Opioids play less role in rising U.S. suicide rate

RELATED: Opioids killing more middle-aged black adults