These numbers point to important opportunities to connect those whose drug use has become life-threatening to treatment or recovery resources. Of those who stay alive through their addiction, 3 of 4 of those with substance use disorders do recovery according to a study by the CDC and NIDA.(1)

So while EMS or Emergency Departments in the Tampa Bay region may revive no more than 11% of those who have reporting doing opioids or heroin in the past year,(2) 100% of those they save have the opportunity to become part of the 75% who do recover. 100% have the opportunity to turn a near fatal overdose into a connection to recovery. If you would like to be part of one of the committees working on making sure that we connect 18,000 additional people to services in the Tampa Bay region next year, please visit the “As We Grow” portion of the newsletter. 

To learn more about the potential for recovery, listen to coverage of the opioid epidemic by NPR by clicking here.

  1. Jones, Christopher M., et al. Prevalence and correlates of ever having a substance use problem and substance use recovery status among adults in the United States, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 2020,
  2. This estimate was important to understanding the scale of the epidemic. However, this estimate has a couple of limitations. Limitation 1: The Report on the 2019 National Survey on Drug Use and Health by SAMHSA that estimates population health on a national scale would need to hold true for the Tampa Bay region. Of those 12 and older, 4% have used heroin or misused opioids in the past 12 months, and 1% of the population would meet the diagnostic criteria for an opioid use disorder or an heroin use disorder. Limitation 2: No one person would be counted by both EMS and ED as a opioid overdose. No one person would be revived more than once. The ED and EMS statistics measure episodes not unique individuals.

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