Pa. sees 81 percent rise in ER visits for opioid overdoses

08 March, 2018, 02:11 | Author: Lynne Higgins
  • A man injects heroin into his arm at Kurt Cobain Memorial Park in Aberdeen Wash. on June 13. The U.S. government says non-fatal overdoses visits to hospital emergency rooms were up about 30 per cent late last summer compared to the same three-month per

A new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows emergency department visits for opioid overdoses rose a year ago.

Wisconsin and DE each saw a more than 100 percent increase in opioid-related emergencies past year.

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

According to NPR, the data allows the most current look at opioid overdoses in the country and is based on such visits seen in 92 hospital emergency rooms from the July 2016 to September 2017.

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

Data from ER visits, rather than overdose deaths, is useful because they show when and where people are overdosing, information states can use to identify where resources are needed, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting CDC director, in a conference call Tuesday with reporters.

While there was no state-by-state breakdown of visits by the CDC, the Maine Hospital Association estimated that there were about 1,500 to 2,000 visits to Maine emergency departments for opioid overdoses in the year measured.

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Rates of opioid overdoses in the ED decreased significantly by 15% in Kentucky.

Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services, said many suspected opioid overdoses in ERs don't become confirmed cases.

The Attorney General's office reported that a major factor in overdoses increasing is the presence of fentanyl mixed with heroin, making the drugs more powerful and more likely to cause an overdose.

"We know that up to 90 percent of people will relapse in the first year going through rehab", he said.

But Harris said many people who have substance use disorder are uninsured, and trying to get the uninsured into a medication-assisted treatment program is hard.

"We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable". Closer coordination between public health and public safety agencies can support identification of changes in supply and use of illicit opioids, further allowing communities to take appropriate action to reduce opioid overdoses. It also is increasing community outreach efforts to nursing homes to help address prescription opioid addiction among the elderly.

Support the use of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, which encourages using prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to inform clinical practice.


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