New online database tracks national nonfatal opioid overdoses

Officials say database will help pinpoint areas where resources needed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new online database to track the national rates of nonfatal overdoses is now up and running. The White House confirmed the website, named NEMSIS, went live Thursday.

Some experts say it could help pinpoint where resources are most needed across the U.S.

The website examines all 50 states, and people can search county-by-county as well. The data reveal there were more than 182,000 nonfatal overdoses from November 2021 to November 2022.

The rates show Florida’s rates of nonfatal overdoses are higher than average.

Tackling the opioid struggle in Jacksonville has been a city priority for years. City Councilman Ron Salem chairs the city’s Special Committee on the Opioid Epidemic.

“JFRD provides me, and others, a monthly report of the number of overdose cases they’re called to,” Salem said. “It generally is running anywhere from 350 to 400 a month, it seems to go up and down to some extent.”

Salem said while this information about nonfatal overdoses is available, he wants to remind people that a single dose is all it takes to kill.

“Anything that you’re taking that is not from a pharmacy/pharmacist that you buy on the street could be laced with fentanyl or some other drug like that, which one dose could kill you,” Salem said.

Salem said he’s known of patients who have overdosed and been revived by JFRD several times in a single day. He also stresses this problem does not discriminate.

“We have, for example, college students that think they’re taking a stimulant to keep them up for final exams, and it ends up being laced with fentanyl and then they die,” Salem said.

That’s why Salem said people should learn how to administer Narcan. He said if it turns out the patient is not overdosing, it will not harm them to receive Narcan.

“If in doubt, and you find someone unconscious, and you think they may have overdosed on something, use Narcan,” Salem said. “And it is readily available.”

Salem also highlighted a recent settlement involving drug companies and wholesale manufacturers. He said that money will be used to not only tackle the problem but also help people overcome their addictions.

“There’s about $85 million coming into the city of Jacksonville over the 18 years,” Salem said. “We’re in the process of setting up a program to where we can begin allocating those funds to various not-for-profits.”

The city of Jacksonville provides Narcan overdose reversal training. To learn more visit: Overdose Reversal Training - MyJFRD.


About the Authors:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013 and reports every weekday for The Morning Show.

Brie Isom joined the News4JAX team in January 2021 after spending three years covering news in South Bend, Indiana.