Medicine

Opioid Overdose Patients Causing Spike In ER Visits

Opioid Overdose Patients Causing Spike In ER Visits

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

The CDC study found that the rate of ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses, from July 2016 to September 2017, went up 30 percent nationally and 35 percent in the 16 states, which got federal money to closely track fatal and nonfatal opioid overdoses.

SCHUCHAT: We saw sadly that in every region, in every age group of adults, in both men and women, overdoses from opioids are increasing.

The overall increase in opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017 occurred across the nation. In Wisconsin, visits spiked 107 percent between July 2016 and September 2017, compared with 105 percent in DE, and 81 percent in Pennsylvania, with by far the largest population of the three.

The report said its findings "suggest a worsening of the epidemic into late 2017 in several states, possibly related to the wide variation in the availability and potency of illicit drug products (e.g., fentanyl sold as or mixed into heroin) that increase overdose risk and drive increases in mortality".

The CDC concluded in their report that emergency room data can serve as "an early warning system, alerting communities to changes in prevalence of overdoses and permitting a timely, informed and localized response".

Wisconsin had the biggest increase, 109 percent, and DE saw a 105 percent increase.

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"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.

Nearly 100 people are dying every day across America from opioid overdoses - more than vehicle crashes and shootings combined.

The US opioid crisis claimed 63,600 lives in 2016, the National Center for Health Statistics has previously said.

"We're seeing the highest ever death rates in the U.S.", Schuchat said. They're up an eye-popping 30 percent.

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.

STEIN: But some parts of the country are being hit harder than others.

This can make it easier to identify where there are gaps in local resources and how they can best be allocated, becasue having one overdose makes it likely a person will have another. Miller said. "People seek alternative means to maintain their addiction or their high".


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