ER Visits for Opioid Overdoses Soaring: CDC

ER visits for opioid overdoses increased in the majority of the 16 states that have been worst affected by the addiction epidemic the CDC's latest data reveals

Startling numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention point to a 30 percent increase in overdoses treated in emergency rooms between July 2016 and September 2017.

And the rise was not just in rural America: Overdose ED visits in large, metropolitan areas throughout 16 states in the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program increased steadily each quarter for a total increase of 54%, she said.

"The sharp increases and variation across states and counties indicate the need for better coordination", CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said Tuesday in a call with Surgeon General Jerome Adams and reporters.

Overdose-related trips to emergency departments increased among all age groups and both sexes and increased at the largest rate in the biggest cities.

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).

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People who experience opioid overdoses are more likely to experience another overdose in the future and return to the emergency room, the CDC said.

Last year, Pennsylvania saw a huge spike in opioid overdose-related emergency room visits.

Miller attributed the decline in opioid deaths "to increased awareness about the opioid crisis, as well as an increase in the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses".

The rate of such ER visits rose 105 percent in DE and 81 percent in Pennsylvania.

Modest decreases were seen in Kentucky, at 15 percent, and statistically insignificant drops of less than 10 percent in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island. Belated efforts to rein in distribution fueled a resurgence of heroin and the emergence of a deadly, black market version of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

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"[This] means 115 people die each day from opioid overdose", she said.

STEIN: But some parts of the country are being hit harder than others. In Wisconsin, overdoses are up a 109 percent.

"We're actually trying to assess them for a chronic addiction, and then making any interventions that might help with the right person if they're willing to change", Shearer says. Overall as a nation, we are still failing to adequately respond to the opiate addiction epidemic. President Trump recently declared the epidemic a national emergency.

STEIN: Kolodny says the nation needs billions of dollars to provide treatment for the millions of Americans struggling with their addiction.

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