Drug & Alcohol Overdose Hospitalization & Death in Orange County

The study, done in collaboration with the Orange County Sheriff-Coroner Division, found that the overall rate of drug/alcohol overdose deaths in the County increased by 51% between 2000 and 2012. 
Some other key findings of the report include:Drug & Alcohol Overdose Hospitalization & Death in Orange County Report

  • Drug/alcohol overdoses, or poisonings, resulted in over 5,000 hospitalizations and nearly 600 deaths among Orange County residents each year. 
  • More than half (54%) of all such hospitalizations involved drugs, most of which were poisonings due to benzodiazepine tranquilizers (e.g., Xanax, Valium) or opioid substances (e.g., OxyContin, Heroin). 
  • Over one-third (35%) of all overdose deaths in the Orange County were due to using multiple drugs and/or alcohol at the same time.
  • Coroner investigations found that prescription medications were the most frequently used substances, the majority of which involved opioid pain medications (e.g., OxyContin, Hydrocodone).
  • Nearly 8 in 10 overdose deaths were accidental, and nearly half of those unintentional deaths were due to prescription medications.
  • Geographically, cities along the coastal regions of Orange County tended to have higher rates of drug/alcohol-related hospitalizations and death than other cities.
     

View 2014 Report

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