ER visits for opioid overdose up 30%, CDC study finds

Opioid Epidemic Worsens In US With Overdoses In ERs Up 30 Percent Last Year

The Chicago Tribune reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released state emergency room data.

The largest regional increase occurred in the Midwest, which saw a 69.7 percent jump in opioid overdoses, according to the report.

The rate rose most in the Midwest - 70 percent, including a 65 percent hike in IL.

"We're now seeing the highest drug overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States, driven by prescription opioids and by illicit opioids such as heroin and illicitly-manufactured fentanyl,"Anne Schuchat, MD, acting director of the CDC, said during a telebriefing on the report".

The increases were prevalent in both men and women of all age groups in all regions, according to the report. He also calls for increasing the availability of naloxone, which reverses the effects of overdoses, and working with law enforcement.

Dr. Tom Scaletta is an emergency room physician in Naperville, Illinois, where they treated 500 opioid-dependent patients a year ago.

"As medical professionals are becoming more aware of the potential for a patient to have an opioid overdose, the number of suspected cases will increase", she said.

The researchers found that 142,557 emergency department visits (15.7 per 10,000 visits) were suspected opioid-involved overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017. For example, emergency room staff need better training to make sure people with substance-use disorder get follow-up addiction treatment, says Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and chief executive officer of the Addiction Policy Forum.

"Yep", he said. "We see a little of everything". "Having the right data available at the right time can help direct the right resources to the most impacted areas". Overdoses may have actually slightly decreased in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. There were variations in these rates among states in the Northeast and Southeast regions, with some states seeing significant increases and others experiencing nonsignificant decreases.

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