New overdose dashboard shines a light on the issue in Alabama

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 9:06 PM CST
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WALKER COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - The White House is Launching a first-of-its-kind National Data Dashboard for non-fatal overdoses and the numbers are not good for Alabama.

Alabama’s Nonfatal Opioid Overdose rate is higher than the national average and we currently have the seventh worst in the country. Walker County has one of the five highest overdose rates in the country compared to other counties.

According to the Director of Substance Abuse Services at Northwest Alabama Mental Health, there number of 911 calls made in Walker county due to overdoses has increased each of the last three years.

With 167 calls made in 2019, and 275 calls made in 2021.

Walker County Sheriff’s Office deputies say the county is on pace to have 65 overdose deaths this year, a tragic issue state leaders are working to solve.

“The data says we have a problem, but you got to give the people the resources to ask for help. A lot of the times people don’t know where to ask for help. So that is why we say look at 988, look at your crisis service centers. Look at those lines, what you have to do is actually ask for help,” said Associate Commissioner for the Mental Health and Substance Use Division of the Alabama Department of Mental Health Nicole Walden.

The hope is the new overdose dashboard will help save lives and determine where help and resources are most needed. The data will be updated every Monday morning with a two-week lag.

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