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South Carolina Opioid Summary

Revised February 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

Opioid overdose deaths in South Carolina increased proportionately with national rates through 2013. Since then, the rate has increased from 5.2 deaths per 100,000 persons to 13.1 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2016—equivalent to 247 and 628 deaths. From 2013 to 2016, deaths related to synthetic opoids (mainly fentanyl) and heroin-related deaths rose from 50 to 237 deaths and from 32 to 115 deaths, respectively. 

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in South Carolina compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 13.1 deaths per 100,000 persons in South Carolina, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2015, 4,490,916 opioid prescriptions were filled in South Carolina—about 109 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons compared to the national opioid prescribing rate of 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (IMS Health).

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in South Carolina from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 628 opioid-related overdose deaths: 237 involved synthetic opioids, 115 involved heroin, and 381 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

The incidence of NAS in South Carolina increased from 1.3 cases per 1,000 births in 1999 to 3.9 cases per 1,000 in 2013—a threefold increase. The average across the 28 states included in the 2013 analysis was 6.0 cases per 1,000 births (CDC, MMWR, 2014).

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, 9.1 percent (3,5941) of the 39,513 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among new cases, 8.2 percent (2,6141) of cases among men and 13.2 percent (980) of cases among women were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2014, 955,081 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 299.5 per 100,000 persons. Of these, 18.1 percent (131,0561) of males and 22.6 percent (52,013) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2015, 694 occurred in South Carolina, with 6.0 percent1 of new cases in males and 7.1 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 15,942 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in South Carolina—a rate of 394 cases per 100,000 persons. Of these, 14.8 percent1 of males and 15.3 percent of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2015, there were 181,871 reported cases of chronic HCV and 33,900 estimated cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Where data were available, 64.2 percent of acute cases reported IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 3.5 million Americans are living with HCV, including approximately 2.7 million living with chronic infections (CDC).
  • State Incidence: In 2015, South Carolina reported 4,515 cases of chronic HCV and five cases of acute HCV (0.1 cases per 100,000 persons) (CDC).
  • State Prevalence: Current state prevalence data are not available. As of 2010, an estimated 62,300 persons (1,760 cases per 100,000) were living with HCV in South Carolina (HepVu).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in South Carolina: 7

Notes

  1. Includes transmission to individuals with injection drug use as a risk factor.
  2. 2015 estimate after adjusting for under-ascertainment and under-reporting. Data for 2015 were unavailable for Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Iowa, Mississippi, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Wyoming.

This page was last updated February 2018

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