Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Opioid crisis continues to expand rapidly, emergency-room numbers show

Opioid crisis continues to expand rapidly, emergency-room numbers show

New federal data show that IL emergency rooms saw a 66 percent increase in opioid overdose visits previous year.

The 142,557 emergency visits in 45 states for opioid overdoses marked a almost 30 percent increase between July 2016 and September 2017, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Tuesday.

The data also highlight the need to enhance mental health services, medication-assisted treatment for addiction and distribution of naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug, Schuchat said.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat explained in a statement.

"All five regions of the US saw significant increases during this time period", said Anne Schuchat, MD, acting CDC director, in a CDC tele-briefing Tuesday.

Increases in other states across the nation are even more alarming - Wisconsin up 108 percent, Pennsylvania 80 percent, DE nearly 105 percent in suspected overdoses.

More than 142,000 people were taken to emergency departments for opioid overdoses during a recent 15-month period, a dramatic rise and the latest sign that the drug epidemic continues to worsen despite the efforts of public health authorities.

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Working in a New York City emergency room, Dr. Peter Shearer sees the opioid epidemic first hand.

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". Among those states, DE and Pennsylvania, along with Wisconsin, topped the list of states where the rate of ER visits for overdoses grew the most quickly.

It was also determined that people who have suffered opioid overdoses in the past are more prone to suffering one in the future as well.

SCHUCHAT: The Midwestern region was most hard hit with an increase of 70 percent. Wisconsin led the states with a 108 percent spike. In Wisconsin, overdoses are up a 109 percent.

SCHUCHAT: We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable, but the substances are more risky than, you know, five years ago.

Lynch says its plays out that way at all local ER's like ECMC, Millard Fillmore Suburban, and other hospitals covered by him and his colleagues at UB MD Emergency Medical group. For instance, crisis room staff require better preparing to ensure addicts get follow-up enslavement treatment, says Jessica Hulsey Nickel, president and CEO of the Addiction Policy Forum.

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