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

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

There's more bad news about the country's staggering opioid epidemic.

Opioid overdose deaths increased by 27.7 percent nationally past year, according to new data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday (March 6). All five USA regions experienced increases. "The quick moving opioid overdose epidemic proceeds and is quickening". In Wisconsin, visits spiked 107 percent between July 2016 and September 2017, compared with 105 percent in DE, and 81 percent in Pennsylvania, with by far the largest population of the three.

But even in the smallest, most rural towns that submitted overdose data, there was a 21 percent increase in overdoses.

The rate of opioid overdoses increased on average by 5.6 percent throughout the year, across all demographic groups and all five USA regions. "So they turn to more lethal means - fentanyl, carfentanyl, heroin - and those typically are leading them to overdose".

The report didn't determine why overdoses change around the nation. In the U.S. in 2016, illicit and prescription drug overdoses killed 64,000 people. And Schuchat said there were significant increases among all groups age 25 and older. "We're about at capacity now and we're seeing a lot of younger people addicted to opioids", said Travis Hall, Executive Director. "It is anxious that 20 years into this epidemic, it is as yet deteriorating".

"It's sort of like indicating a consuming building and saying, 'Gracious, there's a fire there". "There's been a ton of talk from Congress and from the organization and an acknowledgment that we have to take care of this issue".

Others say the key is incorporating fixation treatment better into the social insurance framework. She says states can use that information to identify where resources are needed.

These latest numbers follow a recent CDC analysis that showed the opioid crisis already has led to a decrease in the average American's life expectancy.

Data from hospital emergency departments show a big increase in drug overdoses across the country.

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. And New Castle County accounted for almost 75 percent of the more than 2,000 ER visits. Among those regions, Midwestern emergency departments experienced the highest increase in overdoses - up to 70 percent - compared to those in the Southeast, which saw a rise of 14 percent. Overdoses may have actually slightly decreased in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

The largest drop was in Kentucky, where overdose ED visits declined by 15%.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

However, neither Congress nor the White House has appropriated new funding to treat people affected by the opioid crisis, despite pleas from public health officials, some of whom have put a starting price tag at $6bn. In a moment, we'll hear about the first long-term study looking at how effective opioids are treating common kinds of chronic pain.

The Chicago Tribune reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released state emergency room data. NPR health correspondent Rob Stein has the details.

"What happens when you do that, without decreasing the demand for opioids?" Schuchat called these services "essential hubs" in stemming the opioid crisis. In 2016 the coroner's office reported 89 drug-related overdose deaths. Among men, it was 30 percent.

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.

Overdoses increased in all five regions of the USA, and in every demographic. In Wisconsin, overdoses are up a 109 percent.

"With the attention this has been getting, it's very disappointing we are seeing these increases". President Trump recently declared the epidemic a national emergency.

The study comes just a week after the White House held a week-long opioid summit. Jessica Hulsey Nickel heads the Addiction Policy Forum.

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