Drug Overdose Deaths in SC Double

According to a new report, Reducing Teen Substance Misuse: What Really Works, from the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), drug overdose death rates among 12- to 25-year-olds have doubled in SC over the last 12 years. South Carolina ranked 12th lowest for the number of youth drug overdose deaths, with a rate of 5.8 per 100,000 youth, ages 12 to 25. The national rate is 7.3 per 100,000.

The report also includes a review of 10 key indicators of leading evidence-based policies and programs that can improve the well-being of children and youth and have been connected with preventing and reducing substance— alcohol, tobacco or other drugs—misuse. South Carolina scored four out of 10 by:

  • Supporting Academic Achievement: State has at least an 80 percent high school graduation rate (2012-2013);
  • Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral to Treatment Support: State has billing codes for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment (SBIRT) in their medical health (Medicaid or private insurance) programs;
  • Mental Health Funding: State increased funding for mental health services for Fiscal Year 2015.
  • Sentencing Reform: State has taken action to roll back “one-size-fits-all” sentences for nonviolent drug offenses.

Nationally, 24 states scored a five or lower. Minnesota and New Jersey received the highest score of 10 out of a possible 10 points, while four states scored the lowest, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi and Wyoming, with three out of 10 points.

Reducing Teen Substance Misuse also identified a set of research-based approaches and recommendations to modernize the nation’s strategy to prevent and reduce substance use and support a full continuum-of-care, including investing in and using evidence-based approaches across communities and in schools. Learn more about the data, approaches and recommendations at the TFAH website, www.healthyamericans.org.

Read the national report.

Read the SC-specific report.



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© 2015 South Carolina Institute of Medicine and Public Health