CHARLOTTE, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – A recent report by Atrium Health has revealed the extent to which gun violence has hit emergency rooms and the city of Charlotte at large.

Woman killed in domestic incident in NW CLT: CMPD

The report, commissioned by the health provider and researched and written by APCO Worldwide, was published in February. 

‘A Public Health Perspective to Address Gun Violence’ explored some of the hard data coming through the doors of Atrium Health, looked into the mental, physical, and financial aspects of gun violence.

“A steady increase in gun violence rates over the last decade nationwide is taxing the capacity of trauma centers and requiring the health care systems to increase spending related to treating long-term, adverse outcomes in survivors, including substance abuse, psychiatric disorders, recurrent violent injuries, and chronic pain,” said Atrium Health in their study.  “Families of survivors and communities with rising rates of gun violence also suffer adverse outcomes.”

The numbers in the study show a stark increase in gun violence in 2020 and 2021, compared with previous years.  Complete data for the entirety of 2022 was not available for the study.

The report also cited a 2018 Atrium Health study, which found that 25% of people admitted for violence-related injuries were back with other violence-related injuries within 2 1/2 years, that 14% of readmissions were suicide attempts or suicidal thoughts, and that nearly half of patients treated for violent injuries did not have health insurance.

Atrium’s study also noted, increasingly, admissions for violent crimes are not a result of gang violence.  Often, they are due to arguments or relatively small situations that escalate to violence.

“We’re on our way to definitely being like Chicago,” said Bernel Berry, with 1Love, an anti-violence organization in Charlotte.

This news comes as there is more news from North Carolina law enforcement officials that juvenile crime has been on the climb, though they have no clear answers on why that is happening.

Berry, though, believes that there are multiple reasons for this, noting societal influences such as music and social media in playing a role in the raising of children and young adults.

“These kids are raising themselves,” said Berry.  “I still have hope, and I know I’m not the only one that has hope in the Queen City.”

Queen City news did reach out to Atrium for more context on their findings, but they were not able to make anyone available by our Monday deadline.