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DOH-Volusia - Volusia Ranks 15 in State in Drug Poisoning Deaths

August 21, 2017

Daytona Beach, FL. - Volusia County ranks 15th in the state for drug poisoning deaths, according to a new public health data brief released by the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County. Titled "Opioid Poisonings in Volusia County," the report shows that all opioids are not created equal. Deaths attributed to the use of methadone, heroin, and prescription opioids other than methadone are analyzed.

Volusia's death rates caused by heroin are lower than the state. However, deaths caused by methadone are higher than the state. No difference was seen in the percent of deaths caused by other (non-methadone) prescription opioids.
The most recent death and hospitalization rates available are from 2015. The full data brief is online at

Report highlights include:

  • Volusia County males are nearly twice as likely as females to die from opioid poisoning.

  • The number of white users who die from opioid poisoning is four times higher than black or Hispanic users.

  • The vast majority of opioid-related deaths (75 percent) in the county are among people age 25 to 54.

  • Hospitalization rates from prescription opioid use are declining but rates from heroin and methadone use - both of which may be used as a replacement for prescription opioid medications - are on the rise.

Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and Volusia County. Locally accidental death is the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer.

The report does not examine cause and effect relationships or utilization rates. The Department prepares these types of health reports for use by community partners who serve various populations or address health risks. Reports also help to raise awareness among the general public, according to Patricia Boswell, DOH-Volusia administrator.

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