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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 drug poisoning deaths in North Carolina has increased by 440%, from 363 to 1,965 in 2016. Additionally, in 2014 there were nearly 12,000 hospitalizations and almost 22,000 ED visits related to medication and drug poisoning. (More recent hospital and ED data are not currently available due to a coding transition.)

Historically, prescription drugs have been a major driver of this epidemic. However, illicit drugs are also contributing to this problem in increasing numbers. Heroin or other synthetic narcotics (like fentanyl) were involved in over 60 percent of unintentional opioid deaths in 2016. The number of cocaine overdose deaths is also on the rise.

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

Annual Data Summaries

County-Level Poisoning Data Tables

See the topics below for data on various types of poisoning at the county level.  Please see the footnotes at the bottom of each table for a description of each type of poisoning.

 Death Data: by Intent, Drug Type, and County

 All Intents



 Hospital Data: by Intent, Drug Type, and County

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

 Prescribing and Population Data: by County

 Archived Data



Updated: August 16, 2018