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Opiate Surveillance
Health Department

How to use the data available

  • Display time trends in opioid-related overdoses and deaths
  • Examine approximate location trends in opioid-related overdoses and deaths
  • Analyze demographic breakdowns of people who experience overdoses or die due to opioid-related causes
  • Compare opioid-related overdoses and deaths to opioid prescriptions rates

 

Data sources

The data available were collected from the following local and state partners:

 

Data definitions

Any opioid: includes both prescription opioid pain relievers (hydrocodone, oxycodone, morphine, fentanyl) and illicit opioids (heroin, opium, fentanyl).

Opioid-related death: a death investigated by the Macomb County Medical Examiner in which the deceased was determined to have opioids in their system at the time of their death regardless of the manner of death (accident, suicide, natural, indeterminate).

Drug-related death: a death investigated by the Macomb County Medical Examiner in which the deceased was determined to have drugs in their system at the time of their death regardless of the manner of death (accident, suicide, natural, indeterminate). "Drugs" includes alcohol, opioids, cocaine, carbon monoxide, and other prescription medications.

Opioid-related hospitalization: a hospital visit with a final diagnosis that is opioid-related as defined by ICD-10 codes. This includes the following ICD-10 codes:

  • F11: Opioid-related disorders
  • T40.0: Poisoning by opium
  • T40.1: Poisoning by heroin
  • T40.2: Poisoning by natural and semisynthetic opioids
  • T40.3: Poisoning by methadone
  • T40.4: Poisoning by synthetic opioids, other than methadone
  • T40.6: Poisoning by other and unspecified narcotics

Suspected drug overdose: an incident that necessitated intervention from a first responder (EMS, police, fire department) because a person was showing signs of a drug overdose (shallow or agonal breathing, markedly constricted pupils, bluish skin) and was suspected or has a history of using drugs.

Naloxone use: naloxone is a life-saving drug that when used properly can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. First responders in Macomb County carry Narcan, a brand of naloxone, and use it when they encounter suspected overdoses. Naloxone use is therefore used as a proxy measure for opioid overdoses.

 

Data limitations

Drug overdoses and drug-related deaths account for a only small proportion of drug use and misuse.

Due to the near real-time nature of the data available, all data presented are provisional and subject to change. Data may not always be complete and data should not be considered a definitive opioid overdose count.

Data is limited to opioid-related incidents that occur in Macomb County, therefore any opioid-related overdose or death that occurs outside the county-even if involving a Macomb County resident- is not reflected in these data.

Reporting drug-related deaths is delayed because these deaths take several months to investigate.

The accuracy of overdose-related hospitalizations is based on ICD-10 codes, which are limited by the completeness and quality of reporting.

Naloxone use is not a perfect proxy for opioid overdoses as not all opioid overdoses involve naloxone use and some incidents involving naloxone use may not actually be opioid overdoses.