Volusia ranks 15th in state in drug poisoning deaths

According to a new public health data brief released by the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County, Volusia County ranks 15th in Florida for drug poisoning deaths.

Donna Williams warms a bottle for her grandson Aaron Barber on Feb. 24 at her home in Florissant, Mo. Donna and her husband, Darren, have cared for Aaron since he was 10 days old, when his son’s girlfriend gave birth to the baby who tested positive for opioids.
(ROBERT COHEN/ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH/TNS)

Titled “Opioid Poisonings in Volusia County,” the report shows that all opioids are not created equal. Deaths attributed to the use of methadone, heroin, and prescription opioids other than methadone are analyzed.

Nationwide problem
Volusia’s death rates caused by heroin are lower than the state.

However, deaths caused by methadone are higher than the state.

No difference was seen in the percent of deaths caused by other (non-methadone) prescription opioids.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and Volusia County.

Locally, accidental death is the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

Report highlights
The most recent death and hospitalization rates available are from 2015. The full data brief is online at volusiahealth.com/stats.

The report shows that:
•Volusia County males are nearly twice as likely as females to die from opioid poisoning.
•The number of White users who die from opioid poisoning is four times higher than Black or Hispanic users.
•The vast majority of opioid-related deaths (75 percent) in the county are among people age 25 to 54.
•Hospitalization rates from prescription opioid use are declining but rates from heroin and methadone use – both of which may be used as a replacement for prescription opioid medications – are on the rise.

More on report
The report does not examine cause and effect relationships or utilization rates. The health department prepares these types of health reports for use by community partners who serve various populations or address health risks.

Reports also help to raise awareness among the general public, according to Patricia Boswell, the Department of Health-Volusia administrator.

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