Hawaii received CDC funding to evaluate prevention of opioid misuse, abuse and overdose

Posted on Nov 23, 2016 in All IPCS News, poisoning prevention, State of Hawaii

The Hawaii State Department of Health (DOH), Emergency Medical Services & Injury Prevention System Branch (EMSIPSB) received $870,000 in funding for three years from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids as part of the Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI). The funding allocated through the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control builds upon CDC’s state programs to prevent opioid overdose, specifically Prescription Drug Overdose: Prevention for States (PfS). Funding will support Hawaii’s efforts to:

  • Improve data collection and analysis around opioid misuse, abuse and overdose;
  • Develop a strategy to combat the epidemic; and
  • Work with communities to develop larger, more comprehensive opioid overdose prevention programs.

Like many states, Hawaii has seen a significant increase in the number of fatal drug overdoses, with the annual average increasing from 94 over the 2000 to 2004 period, to 162 from 2010 to 2014.  In that 15-year period, drug poisonings went from the 4th leading mechanism of fatal injuries in Hawaii to the leading mechanism, surpassing deaths from suffocation, falls and motor vehicle crashes.  At least half of the drug poisoning fatalities from 2010 to 2014 in Hawaii involve prescribed substances, according to the sometimes incomplete coding from death certificates.  Fatal poisonings from prescription drugs consistently outnumbered those from illicit drugs (e.g. heroin, methamphetamine, etc.) over the 5-year period.  Opioid pain relievers were involved in at least 35% of the fatal drug poisonings among Hawaii residents.

The Hawaii DPPI P&D project will help advance state-level prevention for drug abuse, misuse and overdose.  An Advisory Group will be established to develop a strategic plan for building a more comprehensive program for Hawaii.  The Data Committee will focus on improving data collection and analysis around the epidemic. Surveillance capability will be enhanced by improving the accessibility and availability of data at the state and county levels and through new data linkages to more fully quantify the role of drug abuse across all important injury mechanisms and levels of care.

For more information on Hawaii, please see: http://health.hawaii.gov/injuryprevention/  or contact Dan Galanis (daniel.galanis@doh.hawaii.gov) or Therese Argoud (therese.argoud@doh.hawaii.gov).

For additional information about the Prescription Drug Overdose: Data-Driven Prevention Initiative (DDPI), see http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=282529.