Document Type


Publication Date



School of Public Health


Injury Control Research Center


Objectives. To examine opioid-related outcomes by using hospitalization and mortality data as an indicator of the current opioid crisis in West Virginia. Methods. We used data from the West Virginia University Medicine health care system to examine the trend in opioid overdoses and percentage of patients with a repeat overdose from 2008 to 2016. We obtained the opioid overdose death rate for the state from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention WONDER (Wide-ranging ONline Data for Epidemiologic Research) mortality data for 2008 to 2016. Results. The hospitalization rate for opioid overdoses increased (13%) on average each year in a similar fashion to the opioid overdose death rate for the state (12%) between 2008 and 2016. During the same time, the percentage of patients with a repeat opioid overdose increased annually by 13% on average. Conclusions. There continues to be a surge of opioid overdoses in West Virginia. These findings suggest a need to amplify comprehensive prevention and treatment efforts throughout the state. Public health initiatives to reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with overdoses should consider how the changes in potency may be influencing these outcomes.

Source Citation

Warfield S, Pollini R, Stokes CM, Bossarte R. Opioid-Related Outcomes in West Virginia, 2008–2016. American Journal of Public Health. 2019;109(2):303-305. doi:10.2105/ajph.2018.304845