Unintentional Drug Overdoses in Virginia: Analysis of Syndromic and Death Data
Substance abuse results in considerable morbidity each year in the United States. The relationship between drug overdose emergency department visits and deaths that opiate use contributed to or caused in Virginia was assessed for 2012-2013 to determine if syndromic surveillance data can be used to provide a real-time and accurate picture of the population at risk for drug overdose. Drug overdose emergency department visits showed divergent demographics from opiate deaths with respect to sex and age distributions. This may indicate a shift in the population previously identified as at risk for drug use morbidity.