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Drug trends across Washington state

Data from the Washington State Department of Health Center for Health Statistics Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS) allow us to explore hospitalizations associated with overdoses. Data include Washington residents in Washington hopsitals. Those who who died before discharge are excluded. For more information on data, see details at the end of the page.

We show both age-adjusted rates with confidence intervals and the share that opioids and stimulants comprise of all overdose hospitalizations. Press the "Hospitalization rates" button and the "Percent of hospitalizations" button to switch between the two views. The confidence interval bars give an idea of the likely range of the rates, or how precise the measurement is. Turn off the "All overdose hospitalizations" series by clicking its entry in the legend to better see the confidence intervals for the less common drug categories. All drug hospitalizations include all those attributed to poisoning by any drug, legal or illicit.

Data source: Washington State Department of Health

Data notes

Overdose hospitalizations data are from the state Department of Health Center for Health Statistics Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System (CHARS). Rates are age-adjusted to a constant population structure, expressed as hospitalizations per 100,000 residents. Out-of-state hospitalizations, discharges from federal hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and psychiatric hospitals, and those who who died before discharge are excluded. Limited to those hospitalizations classified as initial encounters and where encounter field is missing. Drugs contributing to the hospitalization are identified by ICD codes:

Many hospitalizations involve multiple drugs. Unfortunately, the state applies a hierarchy within the major subtypes: Any hospitalization involving heroin is counted as a heroin hospitalization, and only those involving other opioids and not heroin are counted as non-heroin. Any hospitalization involving cocaine is counted as cocaine, and only those with other psychostimulants with abuse potential (methamphetamine, amphetamine, etc.) without cocaine are counted under "Stimulants besides cocaine". Thus, any hospitalization involving subcategory 1 above could also involve subcategory 2, but cases counted as drug 2 cannot involve drug 1. Finally, switching from ICD-9 to ICD-10 may have created a discontinuity from 2015 to 2016.