85 child overdose ER visits in four months

HAMILTON COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — The Hamilton County Health Department provided more information regarding child overdose deaths.

This is an update to their press release from Monday.

The Health Department said this is the first time they have reported drug overdose deaths among children under 5 years old.

They first started tracking overdose death data in 2021.

Officials released data compiled from January 1 through May 2, 2023. It indicates that roughly 85 children under 18 visited emergency rooms in Hamilton County from suspected drug overdoses. Those cases were not fatal.

Furthermore, more than half of those cases were of children under 5 years old.

This number only represents suspected drug overdoses of children taken to Hamilton County hospitals. It does not include cases in which victims declined transportation. Nor does it include cases in which they were treated in other hospitals.

It does include overdose-related cases from all types of substances. This may include illicit drugs, prescription medicine and over-the-counter medicine.

The Health Department informs the public that help is available to anyone struggling with substance abuse. Those individuals may call or text the Tennessee REDLINE at 800-889-9789.

In addition, any Tennessee residents with concerns about a child’s safety should report it to the Department of Children’s Services.

Hamilton County provides a resource guide for information on naloxone, overdose prevention and more.

Always call 911 in a life-threatening situation.

Categories: Featured, Hamilton County, Health, Local News