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Virginia Opioid Summary

Revised March 2018

Opioid-Related Overdose Deaths

In 2016, there were 1,130 opioid-related overdose deaths­­­ in Virginia—a rate of 13.5 deaths per 100,000 persons—compared to the national rate of 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons. Since 2010, the number of heroin-related overdose deaths has increased from 45 to 450 deaths—a tenfold increase. Overdose deaths related to synthetic opioids have increased even more dramatically from 87 to 648 deaths.

This graph shows the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in Virginia compared to the United States from 1999-2016. In 2016, the opioid overdose death rate was 13.5 deaths per 100,000 persons in Virginia, versus 13.3 deaths per 100,000 persons in the United States.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2015, Virginia providers wrote 70 opioid prescriptions per 100 persons (approximately 5.6 million prescriptions), equivalent to the national average (IMS Health, 2016).  

This graph shows the number of opioid-related overdose deaths in Virginia from 1999-2016. In 2016, there were 1,130 opioid-related overdose deaths: 648 involved synthetic opioids, 450 involved heroin, and 400 involved prescription opioids. Categories are not mutually exclusive because deaths may involve more than one drug.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

In 2016, 773 babies in Virginia were born with NAS, a rate of 8.0 cases per 1,000 births. The average across 28 states included in a separate 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, 956 occurred in Virginia; with 5.5 percent1 of new cases in males and 5.9 percent of new cases in females attributed to IDU (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2014, an estimated 21,740 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Virginia—a rate of 311 infections per 100,000 persons. Of these, 14.5 percent1 of males and 17.0 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, Virginia reported 8,138 cases of chronic HCV and 52 cases of acute HCV (0.6 cases per 100,000 persons) (Virginia.gov; CDC).
  • State Prevalence: Current state prevalence data are not available. As of 2010, an estimated 66,700 persons (1,090 cases per 100,000 persons) were living with HCV in Virginia (HepVu).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTERFY2017 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in Virginia: 12

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 March 2018

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