There were more than 9,600 total overdoses in Maine in 2021
Washington, D.C.—U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Health Committee, applauded the launch of a first-of-its-kind data dashboard of non-fatal opioid overdoses nationwide.
The dashboard was made available through a partnership between the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These data are critical since non-fatal overdoses are a leading predictor for future fatal overdoses. Widespread access to this data will help first responders on the frontlines of the overdose epidemic target life-saving interventions such as the overdose-reversal medication naloxone. The dashboard will also help inform service providers as they connect people to life-saving treatment for substance use disorder.
“The opioid epidemic continues to claim the lives of far too many people, with Maine expected to set another tragic record in overdose deaths this year. The skyrocketing rate of non-fatal overdoses helps to reveal the enormous and growing scale of this crisis. In Maine alone, there were more than 9,600 total overdoses in 2021,” said Senator Collins. “After hearing from law enforcement and public health officials about the need for better data, I have pressed top public health officials to do more to track non-fatal overdoses. This new national dashboard is a positive step that will help to combat the opioid epidemic by better identifying trends, informing response efforts, and allowing responders to target resources where they are needed most.”
At a Health Committee hearing in March, Senator Collins urged top public health officials to collect better data on non-fatal overdoses. The draft fiscal year 2023 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill includes report language Senator Collins authored requiring ONDCP to provide a report to the Committee on ways to improve the timeliness, accuracy, and accessibility of fatal and non-fatal overdose data.
Technical Background on Data Collection:
The ONDCP Nonfatal Opioid Overdose Dashboard is informed by a derivation of clinical and patient characteristics within the National EMS Information System (NEMSIS) maintained by NHTSA. The NEMSIS data consist of electronic patient care records completed by nearly 95 percent of all EMS agencies nationwide. On average, the data submitted to the national NEMSIS database are 99 percent complete within two weeks.
The dashboard allows for comparisons of jurisdiction and of county-level data to national averages in four categories: population rate of nonfatal opioid overdose in a community, average number of naloxone administrations per patient, average EMS time in transit to reach an overdose patient, and the percent of nonfatal opioid overdose patients who are not transported to a medical facility for further treatment. The dashboard also features the jurisdictions and counties with highest rates of nonfatal overdoses in the prior rolling 12-month and 28-day periods.
To view the dashboard, click HERE.