DHS: State opioid deaths at lowest level since 2015

Local News

Photo Courtesy of Data Direct: Opioid |

(WFRV) — The Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) says opioid death are at their lowest level since 2015 based on the most recent data.

The 838 deaths reported last year is a 10% reduction from 2017.

DHS Deputy Secretary Julie Willems Van Dijk says, “The most recent data on Wisconsin’s opioid epidemic is encouraging. It shows that our collective ongoing efforts to support individuals and communities affected by this public health crisis are working to save lives, but we still have a lot of work to do to end this epidemic.”

A new online tool, known as the Data Direct: Opioids, contains up-to-date information collected by DHS on adult opioid usage, youth opioid usage, opioid hospitalizations, and opioid-related deaths.

According to the data, an estimated 1 in 6 adults in the state were prescribed and used an opioid in the past year. The top reasons for the prescriptions were for pain related to surgeries and back pain.

Data also shows emergency room visits for opioid-related overdoses increased from 2914 to 2018 by 64%. Inpatient stays for overdoses from 2014 to last year decreased by 15%.

Opioid-related deaths reported in 2017 totaled 932. In 2016, there were 850 opioid-related deaths.

To view the Data Direct: Opioids tool, click here. For more on this data from the DHS, click here.

Data Direct: Opioids is funded by grants from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and is the first step in a multi-year initiative by DHS to make health data more available.

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