CDC report: Hospital visits for opioid overdoses rose 30 percent nationwide

A drug overdose rescue kit to help people suffering from overdoses of opioids. AP

A drug overdose rescue kit to help people suffering from overdoses of opioids. AP

Analyzing emergency room data is a quicker way to track overdose trends; data from death certificates for the same period takes longer to compile.

Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat urged government officials to pay closer attention to this "complex epidemic" situation.

Public health experts say use of the overdose antidote Naloxone, coupled with a decline in opioid prescriptions may be working. The hop was driven to a limited extent by a 109 percent expansion in Wisconsin. And those visits - viewed as a harbinger of overdose death rates - are growing particularly quickly in Pennsylvania and Delaware.

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

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

The report didn't determine why overdoses change around the nation.

In his organization's recent report, Pain in the Nation, Miller, along with the Trust for America's Health, called for a national resilience strategy to address "deaths of despair", that in 2015 amounted to 127,500 deaths driven by drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide.

"We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable".

The error margin is tiny.

The supply of those more unsafe drugs is increasing faster in some parts of the country than in others, which may help explain the geographic variations, Schuchat says.

"Yep", he said. "We see a little of everything". "It is concerning that 20 years into this epidemic, it is still getting worse".

Although the Trump administration recently declared the epidemic to be an emergency, a significant increase in funding is urgently needed to treat Americans addicted to opioids.

"It's sort of like indicating a consuming building and saying, 'Gracious, there's a fire there. But nothing yet has happened".

Others say the key is incorporating fixation treatment better into the social insurance framework. Once a person is revived, emergency departments don't have clinical reasons to test for those drugs, and insurance does not reimburse those costs, she said.

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. Kentucky's emergency opioid overdose visits decreased by 15 percent, and Rhode Island and New Hampshire both saw decreases of 10 percent or less. There was a 32 percent increase among those 55 and older. 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 did not matter if people lived in rural or urban areas - overdoses rose in all kinds of cities and towns. A handful of states, such as Kentucky, saw modest decreases but researchers were only cautiously optimistic.

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