The Opioid Crisis in Illinois: Data and the State's Response

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Statewide Drug Overdose Trends

The Opioid Crisis in Illinois Report 2018 (pdf)

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show 2,772 drug-related overdose deaths during 2017.
  • Of the 2,772 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths in 2018, 2,167 (79%) were opioid overdose-related fatalities. For the first time since 2013, Illinois did not experience an increase and, in fact, had a small decline (1.6%) in opioid-related overdose fatalities.
  • Other trends temper this positive indicator, including health disparities, the volume of opioid-related overdoses, the increase in non-fatal opioid overdoses and the continued presence of fentanyl in the illicit opioid supply.
  • The state has made progress toward expanding medication assisted treatment for opioid use disorders in the past year. Between June 2018 and June 2019, 15 Illinois counties added at least one MAT prescriber, increasing the number of Illinois counties which now offer MAT to 59.93% of Illinois residents live in a county where MAT is available.

The Opioid Crisis in Illinois Report 2017 (pdf)

  • The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) show 2,779 drug-related overdose deaths during 2017. This represents a 76 percent increase over the 1,579 drug-related overdose deaths reported in 2013.
  • Of the 2,779 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths in 2017, 2,202 (72%) were opioid overdose-related fatalities.
  • Much of the increase in overdose fatalities in Illinois is attributable to synthetic opioids other than methadone, primarily fentanyl, the use of which accelerated in 2015 and has continued increasing through 2017.
  • Although the state is making progress toward expanding treatment for opioid use disorders, particularly medication assisted treatment (MAT), 58 Illinois counties remain "MAT deserts" without ready access t such treatment.

The Opioid Crisis in Illinois Response 2016 (pdf)

  • Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) data shows 2,278 drug-related overdose deaths during 2016. This represents a 44.3 percent increase over the 1,579 drug-related overdose deaths that were reported by IDPH for 2013.
  • Of the 2,278 Illinois statewide drug overdose deaths during 2016, over 80 percent (1,826) were opioid-related fatalities.
  • The 1,826 opioid related overdose deaths represents an over 70 percent increase in the number of such deaths that were reported in 2013, and a 32.1 percent increase over the 1,382 opioid-related overdose that were reported by IDPH for 2015.The number of Emergency Medical Service (EMS) runs that required two Naloxone administrations increased by over 50 percent from 2013- 2015, and the number of runs that require three administrations increased by over 75 percent over this time period. This increase can be attributed to the presence of fentanyl and other synthetic opioids in the substances being used.