undergroundnewsroom.com March 23, 2018

Opioid crisis: Overdose rates jump 30% in one year

07 March 2018, 11:44 | Rodolfo Quinn

Getty Images

Getty Images

Emergency visits for suspected opioid overdoses shot up 30 percent from the third quarter of 2016 to third quarter 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It recorded 142,000 overdoses in United States hospital emergency departments between July 2016 and September 2017.

The CDC report covers 16 states that received Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance funding, grants meant to increase the timeliness of opioid overdose reporting and provide more comprehensive data on the risk factors associated.

Every state in the Midwest region experienced large increases: Wisconsin (109 percent), IL (66 percent), in (35 percent), OH (28 percent) and Missouri (21 percent).

Repeat opioid overdoses can be avoided through treatment referrals provided during emergency department visits.

The analysis was based on about 91 million emergency room visits that occurred between July 2016 and September 2017, including 142,557 visits that were suspected opioid overdoses.

And overdose visits increased across all demographic groups: men (30 percent), women (24 percent), and all age groups above 15, though the highest increase, at 36 percent, was recorded among people ages 35-54.

Eight of those states included saw "substantial" overdose increases of at least 25%.

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Until now, the CDC has reported mostly about overdose deaths, Schuchat noted, but "looking at ED data can help us get information before people die". The 109 percent increase in Wisconsin was a leading contributor to the overall increase across the Midwest.

Almost two thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription opioids, illicit opioids, or both, an increase of 27.7 percent from 2015.

"The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing".

In the opioid crisis, physical and mental health issues become tightly intertwined and complicate efforts for policymakers to find resolution, Miller said.

"And, so we think there probably is not an increase in people using drugs, but there is an increase in the danger associated with a single use", Schuchat said.

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told reporters Tuesday that President Donald Trump's administration is trying to decrease supply of and demand for opioids, and reduce the stigma of addiction.

The CDC's new report urges state health departments to take actions like distributing more naloxone, improving access to drug-assisted addiction therapies and coordinating across state lines to combat the opioid epidemic.

Research shows that people are more likely to have a second overdose when they have already had one, said CDC behavioural scientist Alana Vivolo-Kantor.

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