Locally and Nationally
Driving Under The Influence
On October 26, 2017, Acting Health and Human Services Secretary Hargan declared a nationwide public health emergency regarding the opioid crisis. While overdose deaths from the abuse of prescription or illegal opioids have received the most attention, opioids also affect driving and can cause crashes.
Fatally-injured drivers, reported in FARS: In 2016, 1,064 drivers, or 19.7% of the drug-positive drivers, were positive for some opioid, slightly less than half as many as were positive for marijuana.
In 2006, 679 drivers, or 17.0% of drug-positive drivers, were opioid-positive.
In 2016, 54.3% of the fatally-injured drivers were tested for drugs.
This means that 10.7% of all fatally-injured drivers were known to have been opioid-positive.
Although there are some limitations, the reports indicate that opioids are present about half as frequently as marijuana in fatally-injured drivers and opioid presence has increased in recent years.
San Benito County Statistics
San Benito County experienced 6 deaths due to all opioid-related overdoses in 2017, the most recent calendar year of data available. The annual crude mortality rate during that period was 9.9 per 100k residents. This represents a 490% increase from 2015. The above charts present the 12-month moving averages and annualized quarterly rates for selected opioid indicators including opioid prescriptions, MME's per person, opioid related ER visits, and buprenorphine prescriptions. Synthetic overdose deaths may be largely represented by fentanyl.
Opioid prescriptions locally have dropped around 25% since 2015 however buprenorphine prescriptions which is used for medication- assisted treatment(MAT) has increased 38% since 2015. The San Benito County Opioid Task Force actively tracks all data to help steer focus on where the data is showing abnormal numbers compared to past history, surrounding counties, and California state data.