Emergency departments see 30% spike in opioid overdoses, CDC says


IL is one of the hardest hit states, with a almost 66 percent increase in suspected opioid overdose visits to the emergency room past year.

Although not all overdoses in the study were fatal, they are part of the grim toll opioids have taken.

The largest regional increase occurred in the Midwest, which saw a 69.7 percent jump in opioid overdoses, according to the report.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D.in a press release.

The CDC's Vital Signs study looked at two data sets.

The opioid epidemic is affecting all types of residential areas - from the smallest rural towns to the biggest metropolitan cities - but the sharpest increases in related hospital trips happened in urban areas.

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The CDC says the increase is likely due to the third wave of the epidemic: First it was prescription drugs, then street heroin, now illicitly produced and toxic fentanyl.

More babies are born dependent on opioids, but does Pennsylvania know the real scope of this crisis? "More Americans are dying each day from opioid overdoses, in every community across the nation". And researchers there estimate 63,000 people died after they overdosed on drugs in 2016.

The report highlighted a number of prevention and treatment methods that have been, and will continue to be, implemented to drive down the staggering effects of the nationwide crisis.

The programs software collects data on more than 60 percent of all emergency room visits across the U.S. in 45 states. In Kentucky, the CDC's analysis showed a 15 percent drop in overdoses. "Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs", said Alana Vivolo-Kantor, a behavioral scientist in CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. But those increases varied dramatically from state to state, even within a region. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House. Last week, Donald Trump expressed a desire to "sue" opioid manufacturers, and the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced the justice department's support of local lawsuits. Others say one key could be training emergency room doctors and nurses to make sure addicts get help to break their addiction.

However, neither Congress nor the White House has appropriated new funding to treat people affected by the opioid crisis, despite pleas from public health officials, some of whom have put a starting price tag at $6bn.