Opioid overdoes in United States increased by 30% in only 14 months


The states with the largest increases in overdose-related visits during the period were Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri.

The hospital data is collected by the CDC's Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program. Among those regions, Midwestern emergency departments experienced the highest increase in overdoses - up to 70 percent - compared to those in the Southeast, which saw a rise of 14 percent.

"All five regions of the USA saw significant increases during this time period", said Anne Schuchat, MD, acting CDC director, in a CDC tele-briefing Tuesday.

"The potency and toxicity of what's on the street is very high right now", said Schuchat.

The most recent numbers in Orleans Parish show that opioids were involved in 166 drug-related deaths in 2016. In the United States in 2016, illicit and prescription drug overdoses killed 64,000 people.

But when a person dies and a drug overdose is suspected, medical examiners and coroners launch investigations that sometimes take weeks, if not months, to complete. It also is a juncture where people can get help before their drug use kills them.

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The new CDC "Vital Signs" report was released a week after Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a "statement of interest" in support of the local governments that are already suing the big pharmaceutical makers and distributors that have swamped many states with prescription painkillers that have turned millions of Americans into junkies.

The CDC also used looked at a second data set, from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) Biosense platform. "We're about at capacity now and we're seeing a lot of younger people addicted to opioids", said Travis Hall, Executive Director. During the entire period studied, the state had 3,427 ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses. Schuchat called these services "essential hubs" in stemming the opioid crisis.

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

The opioid epidemic in the US continues to worsen based on new data from the Centers for Disease Control.

People who have an overdose are more likely to have another, which highlights the importance of emergency departments in making sure the user has education and access to treatment, according to the report. But a report by NPR suggested the availability of highly potent drugs like fentanyl may have had an impact on the number of overdoses there.

"Incrementalism is insufficient", he said.

"We wanted more timely information", Schuchat says. "This is not just health care", he said.

Sessions' move - like Trump's much-hyped opioid commission - are all talk and not much action.

Last year, President Trump declared the USA opioid crisis as a "national public health emergency" - although U.S. media outlets reported that the declaration fell short of a full national emergency and the funding that would come with it.

"I meet with those on the frontlines of this opioid crisis in OH regularly", said a statement from Portman.