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08 March 2018, 01:31 | Nichole Osborne
Opioid Epidemic Worsens In US With Overdoses In ERs Up 30 Percent Last Year
According to a report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation's hospitalization rate directly linked to opioid misuse has risen about 30 percent, which is an alarming figure bar none.
A recent report from Massachusetts Health Department shows an estimated 8.3 percent decline in opioid-related deaths in 2017 from the previous year.
Almost two thirds of drug overdose deaths in 2016 involved prescription opioids, illicit opioids, or both, an increase of 27.7 percent from 2015.
The increase was worst in the Midwest and in large metropolitan areas. Its tracking system covers about 60 per cent of the ER visits in the whole country and some people who overdose don't go to the hospital, Schuchat said. It also is increasing community outreach efforts to nursing homes to help address prescription opioid addiction among the elderly.
"This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age".
The objective is to better understand, and improve the response to, the crisis that has made drug overdoses the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. Increases were seen in rates across demographic groups and all 5 USA regions; the largest increases were seen in the Southwest, Midwest, and West (about 7 to 11% per quarter).
Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Health Services, said many suspected opioid overdoses in ERs don't become confirmed cases.
The greatest increases were noted in states in the Midwest region, including Wisconsin (109%), IL (66%), in (35%), OH (28%), and Missouri (21%).
In the Southeast, which at 14 percent had the lowest regional increase in overdose visits, Kentucky reported a statistically significant decrease of 15 percent.
"We hope that it's a positive sign that will persist", she said.
"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. Overdose visits alone don't capture the severity of the problem.
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