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

CDC: Opioid overdose emergency room visits up 30 percent nationwide; decrease in Massachusetts

At the same time, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Rhode Island all reported decreases in emergency department usage for overdoses, making ME the only New England state highlighted in a federal report to experience an increase, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this week. In 16 states there were 119,198 emergency department visits (26.7 per 10,000 visits) that were suspected opioid-involved overdoses. They comprised half of all the 8 states in the program to report a significant increase of 25% or more. The exact number was not released.

The American Midwest saw an unprecedented 69.7 percent surge in opioid-related overdoses, which is a direct result of Wisconsin's 109 percent spike.

Emergency departments can provide naloxone - a drug that combats overdoses - and recommend treatment to patients, making it an important frontline in the nation's opioid epidemic, the report said.

"Research shows that people who have had an overdose are more likely to have another".

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Emergency departments at SSM Health St. Mary's in both Madison and Sun Prairie started a program where people who overdose are encouraged to seek drug treatment.

The report measured the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, and was the first time the federal government collected emergency department data on opioid overdoses.

"Up until now, we have been reporting on the tragic loss of life from overdoses, but for every fatal case, there are many more nonfatal cases, each one with its own emotional and economic toll", Schuchat said during a telebriefing on the report.

"This increase reinforces the need for us to work together: government, health care, behavioral health, community-based organizations, substance use disorder treatment programs, clinicians, pharmacists, law enforcement, and others, to implement strategies to help reverse the growing epidemic", Shah said in an emailed statement.

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"We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable". And common painkillers don't have side effects, such as leading people into opioid addiction, the study concluded.

Alert communities to rapid increases in overdoses seen in EDs and coordinate an informed and timely response.

Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses.

"The science is clear - addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing", he said.

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