From January 1, 2016 through October 31, 2016, emergency rooms in Cuyahoga County have treated an estimated 6,233 patients presenting with drug-related injuries (inclusive of prescription and illicit drug use). This amounts to an average of approximately 20.4 patients per day since the beginning of the year (as depicted in Figure 1). In order to account for daily fluctuations in visits, and to better understand the trends in drug-related presentations, a 7 day moving average was calculated (See Technical Notes section for details). This indicates that as the year has progressed, the number of patients seen in emergency rooms for drug- related reasons has increased steadily (see figure 2).
The month of October had 780 visits, the highest monthly visit total this year (see figure 3). October also had a spike in visits between October 3rd – 6th that triggered a formal system (i.e. Epicenter) anomaly for drug- related ER visits. System anomalies are generated when the number of visits is more than four standard deviations higher than expected compared to historical information for that same timeframe of the year.
The city of Lakewood is not immune to this epidemic. Instead of turning away from the issue, the city is meeting the opioid addiction crisis head-on. Check out the resources available in our community for assistance.