FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDate: May 26, 2020
CONTACT: Joan CarrOffice: (901) 222-9010Cell: (901) 691-5704
SHELBY COUNTY HEALTH DEPARTMENT ISSUES DRUG OVERDOSE SPIKE ALERTThird alert since May 1st notes the highest overdose levels yet recorded in Shelby County
SHELBY COUNTY, TN – The Shelby County Health Department has issued a drug overdose spike alert for the date range of April 18, 2020 to May 23, 2020.
The Shelby County Health Department monitors drug overdose activity in Shelby County by tracking incidents reported by first responder organizations and the West Tennessee Regional Forensic Center in a database called ODMAP. ODMAP allows SCHD to collect both suspected fatal and non-fatal overdose activity, in real time across jurisdictions in Shelby County. Recent data shows that over the 36-day period that ended on May 23, 2020, 38 separate spike alert levels were exceeded, including the following:
30 Day Alert Level (4/18/20-5/18/20)
419 reported suspected overdose events
70 fatal suspected overdose events
30 Day Alert Level (4/22/20-5/22/20)
423 reported suspected overdose events
68 fatal suspected overdose events
30 Day Alert Level (4/23/20-5/23/20)
429 reported suspected overdose events
66 fatal suspected overdose events
14 Day Alert Level (5/1/20-5/15/20)
215 reported suspected overdose events
38 fatal suspected overdose events
Note, spike alerts are not specific to just opioid overdoses, but to all drug overdoses, and may include overdoses of more than one substance. All data is provisional and subject to change.
“This level of overdose activity is unprecedented in Shelby County,” said Alisa Haushalter, Shelby County Health Department Director. “Deaths attributed to overdose now outnumber deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those with substance use disorder are particularly vulnerable. We urge the community to reach out to those who may be suffering amid the COVID-19 pandemic to let them know help is available. The Tennessee Redline can provide information and access to treatment. Please call 1-800-889-9789 for assistance.”
The Health Department shares information about suspected overdose events with partnering agencies and the Shelby County Opioid Task Force. The Shelby County Health Department maintains a webpage on its website www.shelbytnhealth.com, with information about opioids, including overdose data, which is updated each Friday.