Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

CDC: Opioid overdoses jump 30% across US

CDC: Opioid overdoses jump 30% across US

"This data sends a wake up call about the need to improve what happens when patients leave the emergency department".

The Midwest had the highest increase of emergency room visits for opioid overdoses in any region, up an average 70 percent in just over a year.

In New Hanover County, EMS with New Hanover Regional Medical Center responded to 529 opioid overdoses in 2017 and 535 opioid overdoses in 2016, according to information provided today by the hospital. More than 63,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the country during 2016, and more than 40,000 of those involved opioids. Overdose-related trips to emergency departments increased among all age groups and both sexes and increased at the largest rate in the biggest cities.

The "amount of prescription #opioids prescribed was approximately three times as high in 2015 as it was in 1999 - enough for every American to be medicated around the clock for 3 weeks", acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat said on Twitter last week.

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". And New Castle County accounted for almost 75 percent of the more than 2,000 ER visits. Distribution of naloxone, an overdose-reversal measure, could be distributed to not only first responders, but also to friends and family of people who are drug users.

"I meet with those on the frontlines of this opioid crisis in OH regularly", said a statement from Portman. "We don't have to wait until it's too late", she said at a press briefing.

"We can use this near-death experience - use it as moment to change that person's life", Nickel says. But Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and even hard-hit West Virginia and Kentucky showed declines, with Kentucky's decline being 15 percent.

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

SCHUCHAT: The fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating.

According to Politifact, more than 64,000 people died in the United States in 2016 from drug overdoses - the majority of which were linked to opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin. Beforehand the office took a gander at death from opioids, which fall behind reports from crisis rooms. Others say one key could be training emergency room doctors and nurses to make sure addicts get help to break their addiction.

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