Opioid deaths increased by 27 percent previous year in the US: CDC

Posted March 07, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that in the previous year opioid overdose rates increased across the United States by 30 percent overall, with a 70 percent increase in areas of the Midwest hard hit by the opioid crisis.

"Seeing frequent overdoses, especially in young patients, can take an emotional toll", Sharp said.

The CDC reported that overdose rates were highest in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Missouri.

"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.

The Vital Signs report was published online March 6 in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

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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.

Kentucky's emergency opioid overdose visits decreased by 15 percent, and Rhode Island and New Hampshire both saw decreases of 10 percent or less. Pennsylvania experienced an 81% hike.

The opioid epidemic is affecting all types of residential areas - from the smallest rural towns to the biggest metropolitan cities - but the sharpest increases in related hospital trips happened in urban areas.

Nationally, ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses went up for all regions, all age groups, men and women.

The Minnesota Department of Health study joins a growing body of documented, academic research that seems to strongly indicate that cannabis use-far from being an invitation to harder drugs-could actually be a viable alternative for treating addiction to opioids and overuse of prescription painkillers.

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

Promoting opioid prevention and treatment education. 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.

The researchers also analyzed 45 million emergency department visits that occurred in 16 states during the same period, which included 119,198 suspected opioid overdoses.

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. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House. 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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