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NC Department of Health and Human Services
N.C. DPH: Chronic Disease and Injury Section
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Injury and Violence Prevention Branch

Poisoning Data

Deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department (ED) visits due to poisoning, particularly medication and drug poisoning, have become a growing public health concern nationally and in North Carolina. Since 1999 the number of medication and drug poisoning deaths in North Carolina has increased by more than 580 percent, from 363 to 2,474 in 2017. Additionally, in 2017 there were nearly 12,000 hospitalizations and over 25,000 ED visits related to medication and drug poisoning.

Historically, prescription opioids have been a major driver of this epidemic. However, illicit drugs are now contributing to this problem in increasing numbers. Heroin or other synthetic narcotics (like fentanyl) were involved in nearly 80 percent of unintentional opioid deaths in 2017. The number of overdose deaths involving stimulants is also on the rise.

Please contact us with questions or data requests. Visit Poisoning Prevention and  Unintentional Poisoning from Prescription Drugs for more information on preventing poisoning deaths in North Carolina.

N.C. Summary Data

N.C. Opioid Action Plan Data Dashboard - Updated Quarterly

County Overdose Slide Sets

Note: When downloading and opening a slide set, within PowerPoint you may see a security notice warning you about links to other files. If so, you can ignore the notice and click the "Cancel" button to continue opening the file. Do not click the "Update Links" button.

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NC DETECT Opioid Overdose ED Visits Reports - Updated Monthly

NC OCME Poisoning Deaths Surveillance Reports - Updated Monthly

NC Harm Reduction Slides - Updated Monthly

County-Level Poisoning Data Tables

See the topics below for data on various types of poisoning at the county level. Please see the North Carolina Poisoning Surveillance Definitions (PDF, 207 KB) table for a detailed description of case definitions for each type of poisoning. All tables contain the most recent 10 years of data. If additional years of data are needed, please send a request.

Previously, tables were posted with opioid prescribing data. These tables are no longer posted here but the data they contained can be found on the NC Opioid Data Dashboard.

 Death Data: by Intent, Drug Type, and County

 All Intents



 Hospital Data: by Intent, Drug Type, and County

 All Intents



 N.C. DETECT Emergency Department (ED) Data: by Intent, Drug Type, and County

 All Intents





Updated: August 14, 2019