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3,302,879
Total Opioid Prescriptions, 2017
312
Total Overdose Deaths, 2017-2018
2,336
Total Number of Naloxone Administrations, 2017-2018

Findings

  • During the third quarter of 2018, 702,365 opioid prescriptions and 36,427,097 dosage units (e.g., pills) were dispensed in Mississippi. On average, 395,946 dosage units were dispensed every day during this quarter.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2017, there were 112,094 fewer opioid prescriptions dispensed during the third quarter of 2018. This was a 13.8% decrease. During the same period, the number of dosage units dispensed decreased by 18.8% or 8,419,010 pills.
  • There were increases of nearly 2,229 opioid prescriptions and 101,362 opioid dosage units dispensed between Q2 and Q3 2018, representing 0.3% increases for each.

Opioid Prescriptions, Q1—Q3 2018

  • Total number: 2,101,238
  • Average number per month: 233,470.9
  • Average number per day: 7,696.8
  • The rate was 70.4 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons – enough for approximately 2 out of 3 people in Mississippi to have 1 opioid prescription.

Data Source: Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

Opioid Dosage Units, Q1—Q3 2018

  • Total number: 110,240,317
  • Average number per month: 12,248,924.1
  • Average number per day: 403,810.7
  • The rate was 3,694.3 opioid dosage units per 100 persons — enough for each person in Mississippi to have a supply of 36 opioid dosage units

Data Source: Mississippi Board of Pharmacy

Considerations

This report identified a considerable decline in the number of opioid prescriptions from Q3 2017. Such downward movement could be driven, in part, by statewide educational initiatives. For example, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics along with the Board of Pharmacy and the Mississippi Department of Mental Health have organized numerous town hall meetings to educate communities about the dangers of opioid overconsumption during the last year. In addition, the Mississippi State Department of Health has campaigned actively among the Mississippi’s medical community since early 2017. Recent encouraging trends in opioid prescriptions highlight the importance of such data-driven educational events. Nonetheless, Mississippi’s prescription rates remain high and warrant continuous educational outreach and preventive efforts.

Findings

  • In the first three quarters of 2018, 109 (59.6%) of the 183 suspected overdose deaths were opioid-related.
  • During the third quarter of 2018, there were 73 reported overdose deaths in Mississippi, of which 47 (64.4%) involved opioids.
  • Compared to the third quarter of 2017, overall total overdose deaths, opioid-related overdose deaths, and prescription opioid-related overdose deaths were relatively unchanged during the third quarter of 2018.

Data Source: Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics

Number of Suspected Overdose Deaths reported to Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics by Type of Involved Substance, MS, 2017-Q3 2018
Q1, 2017 Q2, 2017 Q3, 2017 Q4, 2017 Q1, 2018 Q2, 2018 Q3, 2018
Prescription opioid related 7 12 24 39 15 26 22
Fentanyl related 2 7 8 3 1 0 2
Fentanyl and prescription related 4 4 11 12 2 3 5
Heroin related 4 5 9 11 7 3 14
Heroin and prescription related 1 1 0 0 1 1 2
Heroin and fentanyl related 0 2 0 6 3 0 2
Total opioid related overdose deaths 18 31 52 71 29 33 47
Other related overdose deaths 9 7 10 23 24 9 15
Prescription related overdose deaths 0 2 14 18 4 11 11
Overall total overdose deaths 27 40 76 112 57 53 73

Considerations

The accurate assessment of drug-related fatalities depends on complete and good quality data. The reliability of mortality data, however, has been impacted by several constraints such as insufficient resources, training, or time for performing thorough death investigations. In addition, our state lacks a centralized system for connecting different entities involved in the compilation and reporting of mortality data. Efficient collaboration among state agencies, educational outreach for coroners, and standardized protocols for drug overdose investigation and reporting are measures that can improve drug-related mortality surveillance.

NOTE: Twenty-two of the 73 overall total overdose deaths also involved methamphetamines, and 11 of the 47 total opioid-related overdose deaths involved methamphetamines.

Findings

  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data revealed that naloxone was administered 287 times during the third quarter of 2018, which is 42.9% less than the number of administrations in the third quarter of 2017.
  • Naloxone was administered 199 fewer times during Q3 2018 compared to Q2 2018, representing a 41% decrease.
  • The total number of naloxone administrations reported for the first three quarters of 2018 was 1,293, which is 230 (15.1%) fewer than were reported during the first three quarters of 2017.
  • At the end of Q3 2018, the total number of naloxone administrations for 2018 was 62% of the total for 2017.
  • On average, 143.7 naloxone administrations were reported in Mississippi each month during the first three quarters of 2018.

*Transition in data reporting system may lead to future updates.

Considerations

The life-saving drug naloxone, an opioid antagonist, is used to reverse opioid overdose. The emergence and growing popularity of highly toxic synthetic opioid substances require the following state-level actions:

  • Facilitating and expanding access to naloxone for patients with opioid use disorders.
  • Providing training on naloxone administration for all first responders and all persons at-risk for opioid-related overdoses as well as their families, friends, and community members.

Important Message

The above graph documents only naloxone distributed through EMS. Additional distribution occurs through the State Targeted Responses to the Opioid Crisis (STR) grant and a standing order. Since May 2017, 11,842 doses of naloxone have been distributed through STR. In May 2018, State Health Officer Dr. Mary Currier signed a standing order that covers, without a prescription, the dispensing and administration of naloxone.

Findings

  • The top 5 counties, Harrison (12), DeSoto (7), Hinds (5), Rankin (5), and Pearl River (4), accounted for 45.2% of all suspected overdose deaths.
  • The top 6 counties, DeSoto (63), Rankin (30), Madison (12), Pearl River (12), Forrest (11) and Lee (11), accounted for 52.9% of all naloxone administrations
Number of Suspected Overdose Deaths by County, MS Q3, 2018
Number of Naloxone Administrations by County, MS Q3, 2018

Data Sources: Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics (left), Mississippi State Department of Health (right)
*Note: Transition in data reporting system may lead to future updates.

Findings

  • The following figure displays data on opioid-related admissions to facilities certified by the Department of Mental Health (DMH).
  • The table below shows that, on average, there were 2.7 admissions per patient during the first three quarters of 2018. In Q3 2018 alone, the average was also 2.7 admissions per patient, which was a 9.3% increase compared to Q3 2017.
  • There were 255 fewer admissions in Q3 2018 compared to Q3 2017, representing a 13.4% decrease, and there were 27 fewer unique patients (4.3% decrease) in Q3 2018 compared to Q3 2017.
  • The chart below displays the total (primary, secondary, and tertiary) admissions. At the end of Q3 2018, the total number of admissions was 70.7% of the overall admission total for 2017, and the total number of patients was 81.9% of the overall unique patient total for 2017.

Number of Admissions and Unique Patients, Department of Mental Health, MS, 2015 – Q3 2018

2015 2016 2017 Q1 – Q2 2018 Q3 2018
Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients
Primary 2,938 838 3,080 941 4,545 1,379 2,290 832 1,019 376
Secondary 1,589 444 1,783 500 2,147 680 971 346 384 164
Tertiary 742 213 797 243 864 316 427 160 251 68
Total 5,269 1,495 5,660 1,684 7,556 2,375 3,688 1,338 1,654 608

NOTE: The number of admissions is consistently higher than the number of patients because patients can be admitted to multiple programs.

Findings

  • The table and chart below categorize the type of opioid involved.
  • The “other opioids” category includes prescription opioids and comprised 64.4% of all opioid-related admissions during Q3 2018. Heroin represented 34.8% of admissions, and methadone represented 0.8%.
  • In total, “other opioids” comprised 70.7% of all opioid-related admissions during the first three quarters of 2018. During the same period, heroin represented 28.1% of admissions. Admissions for methadone dependence were rare.
  • Compared to Q3 2017, the number of unique patients admitted for “other opioids” and heroin were down by 5.5% and 5.2%, respectively, in Q3 2018.

Number of Admissions and Unique Patients by Type of Opioid, MS, 2015 – Q3 2018

2015 2016 2017 Q1 – Q2 2018 Q3 2018
Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients Admissions Patients
Other Opioids 4,096 1,164 4,272 1,250 5,243 1,677 2,713 931 1,065 430
Heroin 1,025 297 1,279 397 2,199 658 926 385 576 165
Methadone 148 34 109 37 114 40 49 22 13 13
Total 5,269 1,495 5,660 1,684 7,556 2,375 3,688 1,338 1,654 608

Considerations

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) estimates that 121,000 Mississippians are in need of substance use disorder treatment services. Currently, our state does not have the capacity to provide treatment for all the patients in need.

Findings

Drug-Related Arrests:

  • The number of drug-related arrests during the third quarter of 2018 was 4,406, which was 8.6% lower than the number reported for the third quarter of 2017 but 3.0% higher than the number reported for the second quarter of 2018.
  • The total number of drug-related arrests reported in the first three quarters of 2018 was 13,139, which was a 14.1% decrease compared to the first three quarters of 2017.
  • On average, 1,459.9 drug-related arrests were reported in Mississippi each month during the first three quarters of 2018.
  • At the end of Q3 2018, the total number of drug-related arrests was 66.9% of the overall drug-related arrest total for 2017.
  • During Q3 of 2018, the greatest numbers of drug-related arrests were reported in DeSoto (669), Hinds (584), Rankin (379), Madison (267), and Harrison (259) counties.

Pharmacy Burglaries:

  • During the third quarter of 2018, there were 3 pharmacy burglaries and 1 attempted burglary
  • There were 9 fewer pharmacy burglaries in Q3 2018 compared to Q3 2017, representing a 75% decrease.
  • The total number of pharmacy burglaries reported in the first three quarters of 2018 was 16, which was a 52.9% decrease compared to the first three quarters of 2017.
  • At the end of Q3 2018, the total number of pharmacy burglaries was 42.1% of the overall burglary total for 2017.
Suspected Overdose Deaths, EMS Naloxone Administrations, and Drug-Related Arrests Reported by County, MS, Q3 2018
County Number of Suspected Overdose Deaths Number of EMS Naloxone Administrations Number of Reported Drug-Related Arrests Drug-Related Arrest Rates per 1,000 Persons County Number of Suspected Overdose Deaths Number of EMS Naloxone Administrations Number of Reported Drug-Related Arrests Drug-Related Arrest Rates per 1,000 Persons
Adams 2 0* 62 2.0 Leflore 0 0* 14 0.5
Alcorn 1 8* 33 0.9 Lincoln 0 0* 20 0.6
Amite 0 0* 23 1.8 Lowndes 3 5* 153 2.6
Attala 0 0* 10 0.5 Madison 2 12* 267 2.6
Benton 0 2* 0 0.0 Marion 2 0* 0 0.0
Bolivar 0 5* 11 0.3 Marshall 0 4* 11 1.6
Calhoun 0 1* 0 0.0 Monroe 1 0* 16 0.4
Carroll 0 0* 0 0.0 Montgomery 0 0* 0 0.0
Chickasaw 0 0* 19 1.1 Neshoba 0 4* 0 0.0
Choctaw 0 0* 0 0.0 Newton 0 1* 0 0.0
Claiborne 0 0* 0 0.0 Noxubee 0 1* 0 0.0
Clarke 0 1* 8 0.5 Oktibbeha 0 1 12 0.2
Clay 0 1* 21 1.1 Panola 0 0* 10 0.3
Coahoma 1 3* 0 0.0 Pearl River 4 12* 204 3.7
Copiah 0 1* 27 0.9 Perry 0 1* 0 0.0
Covington 3 2* 13 0.7 Pike 0 3* 84 2.1
DeSoto 7 63* 669 3.7 Pontotoc 0 3* 2 0.1
Forrest 1 11* 242 3.2 Prentiss 1 6* 0 0.0
Franklin 0 0* 1 0.1 Quitman 0 0* 0 0.0
George 2 0* 0 0.0 Rankin 5 30* 379 2.5
Greene 0 1* 22 1.6 Scott 3 3* 54 1.9
Grenada 0 0* 0 0.0 Sharkey 0 0* 0 0.0
Hancock 0 0* 81 1.7 Simpson 0 0* 24 0.9
Harrison 12 0* 259 1.3 Smith 0 0* 24 0.9
Hinds 5 0* 584 2.4 Stone 0 3* 44 2.4
Holmes 0 0* 0 0.0 Sunflower 0 0* 0 0.0
Humphreys 0 0* 0 0.0 Tallahatchie 0 0* 0 0.0
Issaquena 0 0* 0 0.0 Tate 2 6* 45 1.6
Itawamba 0 7* 0 0.0 Tippah 0 1* 3 0.1
Jackson 3 0* 123 0.9 Tishomingo 0 6* 34 1.7
Jasper 1 1* 23 1.4 Tunica 1 4* 2 0.2
Jefferson 0 0* 15 2.1 Union 0 5* 25 0.9
Jefferson Davis 0 1* 0 0.0 Walthall 1 1* 10 0.7
Jones 0 6* 127 1.9 Warren 2 2* 32 0.7
Kemper 0 2* 0 0.0 Washington 0 4* 36 0.8
Lafayette 1 5* 97 1.8 Wayne 1 1* 29 1.4
Lamar 1 0* 106 1.7 Webster 0 1* 0 0.0
Lauderdale 0 9* 101 1.3 Wilkinson 0 0* 0 0.0
Lawrence 0 1* 0 0.0 Winston 0 0* 0 0.0
Leake 0 1* 54 2.4 Yalobusha 2 6* 0 0.0
Lee 3 11* 116 1.4 Yazoo 0 1* 0 0.0

Note: The zero values in this table may signify either that cases of overdose deaths, naloxone administrations, and drug-related crimes have not occurred or that such cases did occur but were not reported by the relevant authorities.

*Transitions in data reporting system may lead to future updates