PA opioid overdose emergency room visits spiked 81 percent

09 March, 2018, 09:51 | Author: Samuel Hayes
  • 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

Kentucky's emergency opioid overdose visits decreased by 15 percent, and Rhode Island and New Hampshire both saw decreases of 10 percent or less. And New Castle County accounted for almost 75 percent of the more than 2,000 ER visits.

The Midwest saw a whopping 70 percent increase in opioid-related ER visits related to opioid overdoses.

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.

The ER data show trends in the opioid abuse epidemic before deaths do, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the study.

The programs software collects data on more than 60 percent of all emergency room visits across the U.S. in 45 states.

According to Ben Miller, chief strategy officer for Well Being Trust, a national health policy foundation, the continued worsening of the opioid crisis isn't surprising given that the United States has failed to come up with a comprehensive response to the epidemic.

"People who have had an overdose are more likely to have another, so being seen in the ED [emergency department] is an opportunity for action", the CDC report said. Of those, 42,000 deaths were linked to opioid use.

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.

More news: Injured Mario Mandzukic left out of Juventus squad to face Tottenham

Opioid addiction also has hooked its claws into all groups of US residents.

That money was distributed to 16 states that are now enrolled in the CDC's Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance Program.

"We want there to be more hand-off in the emergency department between resuscitation or saving a life and addressing the longer-term needs for that individual or their support system", she said.

So how can emergency departments respond to rising overdoses?

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

Narcan, also known as Naloxone is an opiate overdose antidote. That year, the powerful painkiller fentanyl and its close opioid cousins played a bigger role in the deaths than any other legal or illegal drug.

"Incrementalism is insufficient", he said.

"We needed all the more opportune data", Schuchat says.



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