CDC: Hawaii drug overdoses doubled over the last decade
by Carolyn Grindrod, The Center Square, May 31, 2023
The number of overdose-related deaths in Hawaii has almost doubled over the last decade, according to the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.
According to the CDC's Provisional Drug Overdose Death Counts, Hawaii had a reported 254 drug-related deaths recorded in the 12 months before December 2022. That amount could be as high as 298 after death investigations finalize, an increase of 7% from the prior year, according to the CDC.
Overdose deaths in Hawaii have risen since first being reported in January 2015. Back then, the number of deaths reported in the year before January 2015 was 157, a 189% increase.
According to statistics from the Hawaii Opioid Initiative, an estimated 34% of overdose deaths result from opioid use, with increasing numbers related to illicit synthetics like fentanyl. Information from the CDC on overdose deaths includes synthetic and semisynthetic opioids and other drugs like methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine but does not provide individualized counts specific to drugs.
Nationally, the number of overdose deaths reported remains around 2.0% under last year’s reported numbers, but the CDC indicates that the number is likely to rise pending the toxicology reports. Projections show that the number of presumed overdose deaths nationally is likely to increase from 2021 to 2022 by half a percent.