Data on Opioid Use and Overdose

Our Response to the Opioid Epidemic

In June of 2021, the departments of Health and Human Services released a report Accidental Overdose Deaths in Allegheny County, January 2016 – June 2020, which provides another tool to understand where deaths are occurring and to target prevention and treatment measures.

Key findings of the report included:

Recent trends: 2016 and 2017 had the two highest numbers of yearly accidental overdose deaths that the county has seen; following those peaks, overdose deaths decreased by 41% from 2017 to 2018. Overdose deaths then increased by 16% from 2018 to 2019 and while 2020 numbers were still preliminary when the report was drafted, there were 311 total deaths in the first and second quarter of 2020, which is a 44% increase compared to the same time period in the previous year.

Race: Black residents experienced a disproportionately high rate of accidental overdose deaths from the third quarter of 2018 through the second quarter of 2020. The rate of overdose deaths from the third quarter of 2019 through the second quarter of 2020 was more than two times greater than that of white residents.

Substance types: Opioids, usually in combination with other drugs, were involved in 87% of accidental overdose deaths in 2019. Fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, was present in 77% of cases. Since 2018, the percentage of deaths involving a combination of heroin and fentanyl has decreased, while the percentage of deaths involving fentanyl in combination with cocaine and methamphetamines has increased.

Individuals’ involvement with other systems prior to death: Approximately half of the individuals who died of an overdose received publicly funded mental health treatment or substance use disorder treatment during the year prior to their death. Thirty percent had involvement with adult probation and 19% were booked in the Allegheny County Jail at some point in the year prior to death.

Read the full news release(PDF, 180KB) for more information.

Allegheny County Overdose Dashboard

The overdose epidemic is a critical public health issue, which Allegheny County continues to combat through evidence-based overdose prevention outreach, care coordination and community and institutional partnerships. This dashboard was developed to allow users to explore information about people who have experienced an accidental overdose within the county. Simply visit the following link to be taken to the dashboard. The buttons at the top of the page can be used to navigate through the various data.

Allegheny County Overdose Dashboard
Allegheny County Overdose Dashboard

Useful Links and Resources

PA Get Help
1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357)

Pathway to Care & Recovery
In-Person 24/7/365
326 Third Avenue, Pittsburgh PA 15222