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08 March 2018, 01:36 | Rex Hubbard
CDC: Opioid overdose emergency room visits up 30 percent nationwide; decrease in Massachusetts
The CDC report found the opioid-related emergency room visits rose an average 35 percent across 16 states between July 2016 and September 2017. The exact number was not released.
The decline in deaths is likely due "to increased awareness about the opioid crisis, as well as an increase in the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses", said Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services.
The largest regional increase occurred in the Midwest, which saw a 69.7 percent jump in opioid overdoses, according to the report.
"Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs", Vivolo-Kantor said. It also is increasing community outreach efforts to nursing homes to help address prescription opioid addiction among the elderly.
"This is a very hard and fast-moving epidemic", she said.
Increasingly, users are shifting from heroin to stronger synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and recently Central DuPage Hospital experienced its first death from carfentanil, which is 100 times as potent as fentanyl and 5,000 times as potent as heroin.
The opioid epidemic reached new heights, with opioid overdoses in the ED jumping to 30%.
The greatest increases were noted in states in the Midwest region, including Wisconsin (109%), IL (66%), in (35%), OH (28%), and Missouri (21%). Overdoses increased 40.3 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the Northeast, 20.2 percent in the Southwest and 14 percent in the Southeast.
Increases in other states across the nation are even more alarming - Wisconsin up 108 percent, Pennsylvania 80 percent, DE nearly 105 percent in suspected overdoses. Overdoses may have actually slightly decreased in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Many more people come in with infections, withdrawal symptoms and complications from missing routine appointments like dialysis because they were busy getting high, he said.
Opioids were involved in two-thirds of all overdose deaths in 2016.
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The rain belt is moving west to east and there will be an increasingly brisk wind across southern areas from the west. During lighter intensity late this morning, the snow will mix with rain in some areas closer to Interstate 95.