Substance Abuse

Drug Overdose Deaths in Ocean County, NJ

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows an elevated drug overdose death rate in Ocean County when compared to both New Jersey and the United States as a whole. In 2017, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate in Ocean County was 43 deaths per 100,000 people—which was not significantly lower than the death rate in 2016.

Ocean County's high drug overdose death rate is driven in large part by the opioid crisis. Opioids are a class of drugs that includes prescription painkillers like oxycodone as well as the illegal drug heroin. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is increasingly manufactured illegally and sold alongside, or mixed with, other drugs on the black market. 

Data Source: New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, "NJ Cares" Data Dashboard. 

2018 data is preliminary. Note that multiple drugs may be present in the deceased: the numbers for individual drugs do not necessarily add up to the total number of overdose deaths.

Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions

Admissions data, from the New Jersey Department of Human Services' Substance Abuse Overview Reports, shows a steady increase in admissions related to heroin and other opiates since 2006. The data below is also broken down by other categories, including by demographics, health insurance status, level of care, and living arrangement. To display data comparing across a different category, use the drop-down menu below. 

Note that the number of admissions for certain categories do not add up to the total number of admissions for a given year. Note also that total admissions includes clients who have been admitted multiple times.

Note: You can toggle on and off items to display in the chart by clicking on their names in the legend. 

Naloxone Administrations

Naloxone is a medication that blocks the effects of opioid overdoses. As opioid overdoses continue to rise, supplying first responders with naloxone has become a crucial way to save lives. 

In New Jersey, naloxone administrations have risen steadily since 2014, given predominantly by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) personnel. In Ocean County, administrations are split more evenly between EMS and law enforcement. Note that the data is sparser for Ocean County—EMS-administered naloxone data was not available for 2014.

Opioid Prescriptions

Health experts trace the roots of the opioid crisis to the overprescription of opioid pain relievers, beginning in the late 1990’s. Doctors are now taking more steps to limit their distribution, and the prescription rate has steadily declined nationally since 2012.

Prescription rate data collected and published by the CDC shows Ocean County following national trends, which are slightly elevated above the rate in New Jersey. The county had 55.3 opioid prescriptions per 100 people in 2017.

About the Data

Age-Adjusted Overdose Mortality data from CDC Wonder was queried based on the following parameters: underlying cause of death, ICD-10 codes: X40–X44, X60–X64, X85, Y10–Y14.

Ocean County Overdose Deaths by Drug Type data was reported by the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, "NJ Cares" Data Dashboard. Naloxone Administration data is from the same source.

Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions data is from New Jersey Department of Human Services Substance Abuse Overview Reports

Opioid Prescription data was published by the CDC (link). The CDC's source for this data was IQVIA Xponent 2006–2017. "IQVIA Xponent is based on a sample of approximately 50,000 retail (non-hospital) pharmacies, which dispense nearly 90% of all retail prescriptions in the United States. For this database, a prescription is an initial or refill prescription dispensed at a retail pharmacy in the sample and paid for by commercial insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or cash or its equivalent. This database does not include mail order pharmacy data."


More Information

Opioid Overdose Deaths in Ocean County

Fentanyl Overdose Deaths in Ocean County