By ADAM RANDALL
Updated statewide data on opioids has been released by the Indiana State Department of Health, showing a nearly 60 percent increase in non-fatal emergency room visits and an average increase in deaths of 3.5 percent each year between 2011 and 2015.
The data, the first to be released comprehensively by each county, will now be updated each year, said Matt Scotten, spokesman with the Department of Health. Each county profile shows data on opioid-related overdoses and infections related to drug use, along with the amount of deaths occurring in each county. It’s part of state lawmakers’ efforts to monitor trends, plan and evaluate.
Elkhart County averaged 33 incidents of non-fatal emergency room visits due to opioid overdoses between 2011 and 2015, according to the data. Kosciusko County averaged 21.6 cases, LaGrange, 5 and Noble County 9.4.
The average of fatal opioid incidents between 2011 and 2015 were 5.6 for Elkhart County, less than one for Kosciusko County, less than one for LaGrange County and one for Noble County.