The Fort Wayne Police Department Vice & Narcotics Department has changed terminology in reporting on the opioid crisis. Specifically, changing the label “overdose” to “poisoning.”
A recent article from CBC news states, “Poisoning” is a technically accurate diagnostic term for what’s happening inside the body. Meanwhile, the word “overdose,” meaning “to administer medicine in too large a dose,” implies that a drug user knows what the dose is, and chooses to take too much.
When someone drinks too much, we call it alcohol poisoning.
When someone takes too much of a drug, we call it an overdose.
The difference in language may seem slight, but it says a lot about how our society differentiates between alcohol users and drug users.
Some medical professionals working in the field say that if we speak about the drug crisis in a more clinical, straightforward fashion, we can see it for what it is: a public health issue that can be addressed through the medical system.
We recognize that with the term “overdose” so entrenched, it will take time to change.
Thank you, Fort Wayne Police Department, for leading the way in stopping the stigma.
Here are the latest drug poisoning numbers for Fort Wayne for September 2017:
Drug Poisonings for 2016 & 2017
January 2016—51 Poisonings January 2017—104 Poisonings
February 2016—39 Poisonings February 2017—51 Poisonings
March 2016—59 Poisonings March 2017—103 Poisonings
April 2016—51 Poisonings April 2017—113 Poisonings
May 2016—75 Poisonings May 2017—96 Poisonings
June 2016—57 Poisonings June 2017—119 Poisonings
July 2016—41 Poisonings July 2017—153 Poisonings
August 2016—108 Poisonings August 2017—96 Poisonings
September 2016—77 Poisonings September 2017—97 Poisonings
January to September 2016—550 Poisonings
January to September 2017—933 Poisonings
2016 Total Drug Poisonings—804
Drug Poisoning Deaths
2016 Total Drug Poisoning Deaths—68
2017 Total Drug Poisoning Deaths as of October 2nd—73