Illinois Sees Steep Increase In Opioid ER Visits

Opioid Epidemic Worsens In US With Overdoses In ERs Up 30 Percent Last Year

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

The researchers found that 142,557 emergency department visits (15.7 per 10,000 visits) were suspected opioid-involved overdoses from July 2016 through September 2017.

Pharmacies in the state dispensed 4.1 million opioid prescriptions in 2017, down 20 percent from 5.1 million in 2015, according a report last week from the Controlled Substances Board. The continued increase in overdoses amid a coordinated effort to bring down opioid deaths is a troubling sign of the stubborn stranglehold of addiction.

Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses.

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.

The report also suggests emergency departments coordinate with local health departments, state officials, treatment providers and police to identify an action plan to get people into treatment.

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Loretto is expanding its program to include medication-assisted treatment, Mellacheruvu said. "The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing".

"This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age", Schuchat said.

StateImpact's Jackie Fortier reports on new data about drug overdose deaths. Increases were seen in rates across demographic groups and all 5 US regions; the largest increases were seen in the Southwest, Midwest, and West (about 7 to 11% per quarter).

The vast majority of the fatal overdoses, about two-thirds, involve a legal or illegal opioid painkiller, or heroin. But some states, such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island showed a slight decrease. States in the region, including OH and MI, were already among those with the highest opioid death rates. In 45 states, opioid overdoses rose 30 percent in a year. But, she later added, "whether we are seeing real, true persistent declines or they are statistic fluctuations, we just don't know yet".

That's partly because many overdoses occur away from hospitals. Overdose visits alone don't capture the severity of the problem.

"We wanted more timely information", Schuchat says.



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