Opioid overdoses spiked 28 percent in OH a year ago, CDC says

Opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms are way up. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids

The most recent numbers available show no signs of slowing down for the USA opioid epidemic, with emergency room visits increasing through 2017 in most states, especially in the Midwest, and across all age groups, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

Certain areas in the Northeast were also hit particularly hard, with DE experiencing a 105 percent increase and Pennsylvania an 81 percent increase in opioid overdoses during that time.

The CDC reported that overdose rates were highest in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Missouri. She pointed to national statistics that out of 63,000 overdose deaths in 2016, 42,000 of them involved opioids. "It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States".

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

"Overall as a nation, we are still failing to adequately respond to the opioid addiction epidemic", says Dr. Andrew Kolodny, co-director of opioid policy research at Brandeis University.

For example, overdoses increased 105 percent in DE, compared with 80.6 percent in Pennsylvania and 34 percent in Maine. The Midwest saw a whopping 70 percent increase in opioid-related ER visits related to opioid overdoses.

Because those who have experienced a past overdose are more likely to overdose again, the emergency departments can also use this data to target high-risk patients and connect them to case managers and community resources for substance use disorders.

The supply of those more unsafe drugs is increasing faster in some parts of the country than in others, which may help explain the geographic variations, Schuchat says.

More than 142,000 people were taken to emergency departments for opioid overdoses during a recent 15-month period, a dramatic rise and the latest sign that the drug epidemic continues to worsen despite the efforts of public health authorities.

That investigation demonstrated a 34.5 percent expansion between similar periods in 2016 and 2017.

Today - two new reports about opioids.

Asked specifically about the rise in urban opioid overdoses, Schuchat said they suspect a "change in the toxicity" of the drugs on the street.

A study report issued last week by the Minnesota Department of Health, which surveyed data from 2,000 first-time medical marijuana users with intractable pain, said 42 percent of those patients reported a 30 percent decrease or more in their level of pain.

The rate rose most in the Midwest - 70 percent, including a 65 percent hike in IL. Among those states, DE and Pennsylvania, along with Wisconsin, topped the list of states where the rate of ER visits for overdoses grew the most quickly.

The study comes just a week after the White House held a week-long opioid summit. Others say one key could be training emergency room doctors and nurses to make sure addicts get help to break their addiction.

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