Preliminary data from the state indicates opioid overdose deaths in North Carolina dropped in 2018 for the first time in five years. A press release from the Governor’s Office says the data collected by the state Department of Health and Human Services indicated there were 1785 deaths from opioid-related overdoses in 2018, compared to 1884 in 2017. That’s a drop of five percent. In 2017, deaths increased by 34 percent from the prior year. Emergency department visits for opioid related overdoses also fell in 2018, dropping 10 percent from 2017.