CDC reports opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments increase nationwide

CDC reports opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments increase nationwide

CDC reports opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments increase nationwide

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sounded an alarm Tuesday over a troubling trend in IL - a dramatic rise in emergency room visits for suspected overdoses.

The investigation depended on around 91 million crisis room visits that happened between July 2016 and September 2017, including 142,557 visits that were suspected opioid overdoses.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, a press release. Researchers said overdose rates in that system increased about 30% in all regions and most states.

That study demonstrated an expansion of 29.7 percent in 52 wards in 45 states between July through September of 2016 and a similar period in 2017, as per the report.

The Midwest has been the hardest hit, with an overall 70 percent increase in overdose treatment rates in emergency rooms, the data showed.

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". Meanwhile, overdoses in large cities rose by 54 percent in 16 states, it added.

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

Dr. Brian Sharp, who works in the ER at UW Hospital, said UW has seen an uptick in overdoses of prescription opioids and illicit opioids such as heroin and illegally formulated fentanyl.

It also found substantial overdose increases among most demographic groups.

"We're continually seeing a rise in deaths due to our inability to go upstream and actually prevent these people from overdosing", Miller said. Among men, it was 30 percent.

To curb the crisis, officials said communities would need more naloxone (which reverses overdoses); better access to mental health services and medication-assisted addiction treatment; harm reduction programs to screen for injection-drug associated diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C; and for physicians to use prescription monitoring services.

At the start of the opioid epidemic, USA policy focused on stemming the flow of prescription opioids from doctors and pharmacies, Miller said.

Increase naloxone distribution (an overdose-reversing drug) to first responders, family and friends, and other community members in affected areas, as policies permit.

According to the CDC, overdoses kill about five people every hour across the USA with the victims totalling 5,400 more in 2016 then the soldiers who died during the entire Vietnam war.

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