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New Hampshire Opioid Summary

Revised March 2019

Opioid-Involved Overdose Deaths

New Hampshire is among the top five states with the highest rate of opioid-involved deaths. In 2017, there were 424 drug overdose deaths involving opioids in New Hampshire—an age-adjusted rate of 34.0 deaths per 100,000 persons. This was more than twice the average national rate of 14.6 deaths per 100,000 persons. A significant increase was seen in cases involving synthetic opioids other than methadone (mainly fentanyl) with a rise from 30 deaths in 2013 to 374 deaths in 2017 (Figure 1). Overdose deaths involving heroin declined from 98 deaths in 2014 to 28 deaths in 2017 and those involving prescription opioids also decreased from 103 deaths to 62 deaths during the same period

See textFigure 1. Number of overdose deaths involving opioids in New Hampshire, by opioid category. Drug categories presented are not mutually exclusive, and deaths might have involved more than one substance. Source: CDC WONDER.

Opioid Pain Reliever Prescriptions

In 2017, New Hampshire providers wrote 52.8 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (Figure 2), compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions (CDC). This was the lowest rate in the state since data became available in 2006. The age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths involving opioid prescriptions decreased to 4.8 deaths per 100,000 persons in 2017.

See textFigure 2. New Hampshire age-adjusted rate of overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and the opioid prescribing rate. Source: CDC and CDC WONDER.

Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS)

NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy. A recent national study revealed a fivefold increase in the incidence of NAS/NOWS between 2004 and 2014, from 1.5 cases per 1,000 hospital births to 8.0 cases per 1,000 hospital births. This is the equivalent of one baby born with symptoms of NAS/NOWS every 15 minutes in the United States. During the same period, hospital costs for NAS/NOWS births increased from $91 million to $563 million, after adjusting for inflation (Figure 3). In 2015, there were 269 babies diagnosed with NAS/NOWS–24.4 cases of NAS/NOWS per 1,000 hospital births (K. Smith, 2017)

See textFigure 3. NAS/NOWS Incidence rate and hospital costs for treatment in the United States. Source: T.N.A. Winkelman, et al., 2018.

HIV Prevalence and HIV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use (IDU)

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2016, 9 percent (3,480) of the 39,589 new diagnoses of HIV in the United States were attributed to IDU. Among males, 6.3 percent (2,530) of new cases were transmitted via IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU. Among females, 2.3 percent (950) were transmitted via IDU (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: In 2016, 991,447 Americans were living with a diagnosed HIV infection—a rate of 306.6 cases per 100,000 persons. Among males, 19.9 percent (150,4661) contracted HIV from IDU or male-to-male contact and IDU while 21 percent (50,154) of females were living with HIV attributed to IDU (CDC).
  • State Incidence: Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 42 occurred in New Hampshire. Data on the route of HIV transmission for incident cases is unavailable for the state of New Hampshire (AIDSVu).
  • State Prevalence: In 2015, an estimated 1,236 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in New Hampshire—a rate of 107 cases per 100,000 persons. Data on the route of HIV transmission for prevalent cases is unavailable for the state of New Hampshire (AIDSVu).

Hepatitis C (HCV) Prevalence and HCV Diagnoses Attributed to Injection Drug Use1

  • U.S. Incidence: In 2016, there were an estimated 41,200 new cases of acute HCV2 (CDC). Among case reports that contain information about IDU, 68.6 percent indicated use of injection drugs (CDC).
  • U.S. Prevalence: An estimated 2.4 million Americans are living with HCV based on 2013-2016 annual averages (CDC).
  • State Incidence: This data is unavailable for the state of New Hampshire (CDC).
  • State Prevalence: In New Hampshire, there are an estimated 23,300 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 1,030 cases per 100,000 persons (HepVu).

Additional Resources

NIH RePORTER FY2018 NIH-funded projects related to opioid use and use disorder in New Hampshire: 1

Notes

  1. Not all states collect or report data on the incidence or prevalence of Hepatitis C or on how Hepatitis C is transmitted. When available, the data will be included.
  2. Actual acute cases are estimated to be 13.9 times the number of reported cases in any year.

This page was last updated March 2019

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