Ventura County: 2018 Overdose Report

dr young

 Christopher R. Young, M.D. Chief Medical Examiner

1,563 deaths were reported to the Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office during calendar year 2018. Jurisdiction was accepted for 806 of these deaths, requiring further investigation and certification. Postmortem examinations were performed on 626 cases. Of the cases investigated, 170 deaths were due to medications, alcohol and or illicit drugs. Of the 170 deaths, 156 were accidents, 13 were suicide and one death was undetermined.

Of the overdose deaths, men accounted for 112 deaths (65.7%) and women accounted for 58 deaths (34.3%). Multiple drugs or medications may be involved in one case; therefore, one should not add the numbers of individual substances. The same case may be represented multiple times by different drugs or drug categories.

Noteworthy trends:

  • Total overdose deaths jumped by 49 between 2016 and 2017 but only increased by 5 between 2017 and 2018. Accidental overdoses rose by 37 between 2016 and 2017 and by 14 between 2017 and 2018.
  • Of the specific drug types and categories, the largest increase in 2018 involved methamphetamine (up 28 compared to 2017).
  • Except for ethanol, all drug types and categories increased compared to 2017 (opioid, heroin, fentanyl, benzodiazepine, methamphetamine and cocaine).
  • The highest rate of overdose deaths in 2018 was between ages 51 to 60 years (48 deaths).
  • Of the 40 deaths involving benzodiazepines, all were mixed substance overdoses with the exception of one suicide.

> Download the Report

> Letter from the Medical Examiner

> HOOKED | Overdose deaths up in 2018, though no one drug is to blame, VC Reporter, May 20, 2019



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