March 24, 2018

CDC report: Opioid overdoses spike 30 percent across nation

07 March 2018, 11:44 | Rex Hubbard

MoreCloseclosemoreOpioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms are way up. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids

Opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms are way up. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids

The emergency department (ED) visits for opioid overdoses in 45 states increased 30 percent in the USA, from July 2016 through September 2017, says the report.

There were a few states in New England, as well as Kentucky, that showed decreases in ER visits related to opioid overdoses.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", Schuchat said in a statement.

Though there's a lot of work ahead, leaders said they'll continue to fight the epidemic.

The study was conducted using data from hospitals in 16 different states including North Carolina, which reported a 31 percent increase. The hop was driven to a limited extent by a 109 percent expansion in Wisconsin.

But even in the smallest, most rural towns that submitted overdose data, there was a 21 percent increase in overdoses.

From July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoes "increased for men and women, all age groups, and all regions".

It was also determined that people who have suffered opioid overdoses in the past are more prone to suffering one in the future as well.

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The report didn't determine why overdoses change around the nation.

According to Politifact, more than 64,000 people died in the U.S. in 2016 from drug overdoses - the majority of which were linked to opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin.

"I meet with those on the frontlines of this opioid crisis in OH regularly", said a statement from Portman. "But the substances are more unsafe than five years ago", Schuchat says. The nation has not taken the next steps needed to help people deal with either opioid addiction or chronic untreated pain.

The supply of those more risky drugs is increasing faster in some parts of the country than in others, which may help explain the geographic variations, Schuchat says.

Dr. Aaron Weiner is the director of addiction services at Linden Oaks Behavioral Health. "It is concerning that 20 years into this epidemic, it is still getting worse".

Miller attributed the decline in opioid deaths "to increased awareness about the opioid crisis, as well as an increase in the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses". Additionally, emergency departments can develop post opioid-overdose protocol, health care providers can assess a patient's drug history and only prescribe opioids when the benefits outweigh the risks, and all people can better educate themselves on opioids and the current crisis surrounding their misuse.

"It's kind of like pointing to a burning building and saying, 'Oh, there's a fire there".

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