142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition

Annual Meeting Recordings are now available for purchase

EpiCenter: California Web-based Query System for State and County Drug Overdose Deaths

142nd APHA Annual Meeting and Exposition (November 15 - November 19, 2014): http://www.apha.org/events-and-meetings/annual
Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Stephen Wirtz, PhD , Safe and Active Communites (SAC) Branch, California Department of Public Health (CDPH), Sacramento, CA
Cathy Saiki, MPH , SAC Branch, CDPH, Sacramento, CA
Background: Drug overdose deaths are a growing public health problem at the national and state levels.

Method: Using California underlying and multiple causes of death (MCOD) files, EpiCenter is a user-friendly web-based query system that allows users to create county level tables with breakdowns by year, race, age, sex and intent. It includes counts and rates on poisoning deaths, hospitalizations and Emergency Department encounters. Drug poisoning deaths are captured using ICD-10 codes, and specific drugs are identified using T-codes from the MCOD files.

Results: Poisoning was the number one cause of injury death in 2011 among California residents 12 to 74 years of age (N=4,338; 14.7/100,000). The majority (80%) were classified as unintentional (N=3,456; 11.7/100,000), and 15% (N=751, 2.5/100,000) suicides. Of these, 89% were due to drug overdoses (N=3,759; 12.7/100,000). The equivalent 2010 death rate for unintentional and self-inflicted drug poisoning was 12.6/100,000 (N=3,684). 2012 data will soon be added.

The 2010 MCOD file identified at least one specific drug for 65% (2,512/3,836) of the drug poisoning deaths. Based on this sub-sample, 1,845 of the deaths (83%; 6.3/100,000) listed opioid drugs (i.e., legal and illegal) as a contributing cause. The rate for prescription opioid analgesics (i.e., methadone and other legal pharmaceutical drugs) was 5.0/100,000. During the period 2006-2010, deaths from opioid analgesics increased by 33%. Deaths due to methadone alone jumped by 63% and sedative-related deaths increased by 61% during the same period.

 Conclusion: Tracking drug overdose deaths at the county level is critical for local planning and program purposes.

Learning Areas:

Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Diversity and culture
Program planning
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Describe California's EpiCenter web-based query system for tracking alcohol and other drug (AOD) deaths, hospitalizations and Emergency Department encounters. Demonstrate the ability to use the EpiCenter query system to generate state or county level AOD health consequences data. Describe recent California trends in opioid related poisoning deaths, hospitalizations and ED visits.

Keyword(s): Surveillance, Planning

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As Chief of the SAC Branch, CDPH, I am the PI on our Interagency Agreement for the development of AOD surveillance data for California. I am responsible for the EpiCenter web-site and have been intimately involved in all aspects of the creation of the Alcohol and Other Drug Health Consequences query. I have many years of professional work in the field of alcohol and drug surveillance prevention at the state and county level.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.