Increases in Opioid-Involved Overdoses in All Five US Regions — CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says ER visits for opioid overdoses rose 30 percent in 45 states from July 2016 through September 2017

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the US opioid overdose epidemic is worsening.

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. There were variations in these rates among states in the Northeast and Southeast regions, with some states seeing significant increases and others experiencing nonsignificant decreases.

The analysis was based on about 91 million emergency room visits that occurred between July 2016 and September 2017, including 142,557 visits that were suspected opioid overdoses.

Comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, researchers found a 29.7 percent jump in ER visits due to opioids.

The increases were prevalent in both men and women of all age groups in all regions, according to the report. But preliminary numbers from CDC show drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma rose by 12 percent, to 844 people.

Despite efforts to address the crisis, opioid overdoses in the USA continue to increase at a disturbing rate.

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According to the CDC, overdoses kill about five people every hour across the US with the victims totaling 5,400 more in 2016 then the soldiers who died during the entire Vietnam war. He also calls for increasing the availability of naloxone, which reverses the effects of overdoses, and working with law enforcement.

"As medical professionals are becoming more aware of the potential for a patient to have an opioid overdose, the number of suspected cases will increase", she said.

For example, overdoses increased 105 percent in DE, compared with 80.6 percent in Pennsylvania and 34 percent in Maine.

However, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are among states showing a decrease in such visits, according to the CDC data.

"We wanted more timely information", Schuchat says.

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