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Indicator Report - Drug Overdose and Poisoning Incidents

Why Is This Important?

In 2002 the age-adjusted rate of poisoning deaths (15.5 per 100,000 population) surpassed the rate of motor vehicle crash (MVC) deaths (13.5 per 100,000 population) in Utah. Until this time, motor vehicle crashes had been responsible for more lives lost than any other cause of injury. By 2012, the age-adjusted death rate from poisonings (25.5 per 100,000 population) was more than three times as high as it was from MVC deaths (7.7 per 100,000 population). Drugs, and in particular prescription pain medications, are responsible for many of the poisoning deaths in Utah.

In 2012, an average of 21 Utahns died as a result of prescription pain medications each month. Since 2002 prescription opioids have been responsible for more drug deaths in Utah than all other drug categories, such as benzodiazepines, over-the-counter medications, or illicit drugs. Oxycodone remain the most common prescription opioid involved in overdose deaths.

Poisoning Deaths by Year, Utah and U.S., 1999-2012

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The vast majority of Utah poisoning deaths are due to drug/medication consumption. In 2010, Utah's poisoning death rate (18.9 per 100,000 population) was significantly higher than the U.S. poisoning death rate (13.7 per 100,000 population). Utah received state funding in 2007 to develop the Prescription Pain Medication Management and Education Program to reduce deaths and harm from prescription opioids. Funding was eliminated in 2010 which greatly affected prevention efforts around the state. The Utah rate significantly increased in 2011. 2011 and 2012 data for the U.S. are not available at this time.

Data Notes

Utah drug deaths are a subset of Utah poisoning deaths. Drug deaths are defined as ICD codes X40-X44, Y10-Y14, X60-X64, X85. Data are age-adjusted (2000 U.S. standard population).

Data Sources

Utah Death Certificate Database, Office of Vital Records and Statistics, Utah Department of Health. Population Estimates: National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) through a collaborative agreement with the U.S. Census Bureau, IBIS Version 2011. National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS).

Other Views


The number of incidents (ED visits, hospitalizations, deaths) resulting from the ingestion of all poisons per 10,000 population (ED visits, hospitalizations) or per 100,000 (deaths). ICD-9 codes E850-869, E950-952, E962, E980-982, E972, E979 (.6-.7); ICD-10 codes X40-49, X60-69, X85-X90, Y10-Y19, Y35.2, *U01.6-*U01.7.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: The number of incidents (ED visits, hospitalizations, deaths) among Utah residents resulting from the ingestion of poison.
Denominator: Total number of persons in the population of Utah.

Page Content Updated On 01/15/2014, Published on 01/16/2014
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sat, 20 December 2014 7:19:48 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Thu, 16 Jan 2014 11:05:41 MST