Shelby County continues to see a rise in drug overdoses

Shelby County continues to see a rise in drug overdoses
Opioid overdoses are more likely to get the coronavirus. (COX MEDIA GROUP)

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County continues to see a rise in the number of drug overdoses.

Monday, the Shelby County Health Department issued a drug overdose spike alert for the 34-day period from April 27 to May 30.

68 people died from drug overdoses during that time.

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62 people died from COVID-19 in Shelby County between April 30 and May 30.

The health department tracks incidents reported by first responders and the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in a database called ODMAP. Recent data shows that over the 34-day period that ended on May 30, 45 separate spike alerts were triggered, including the following:

  • 30 Day Alert for April 27, 2020 – May 27, 2020: 439 total suspected overdose events reported, 68 fatal, which is the highest count to date in a 30-day period, since record-keeping began on January 1, 2019.
  • 30 Day Alert for April 28, 2020 – May 28, 2020: 441 total suspected overdose events reported, 66 fatal.
  • 30 Day Alert for April 29, 2020 – May 29, 2020: 441 total suspected overdose events reported, 63 fatal, the highest count recorded to date in a 30-day period.
  • 30 Day Alert for April 30, 2020 – May 30, 2020: 449 total reported suspected overdose events, 61 fatal.

"The contributing factors behind the overdose spike are not clear, but the trend is concerning,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department Director. “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important that those with substance use issues continue to have access to the care they need, including treatment and community access to Narcan, which can reverse opioid overdoses if administered promptly.”