WASHINGTON – Emergency room visits for suspected opioid overdoses spiked 30 percent nationwide from July 2016 through September 2017 with the most severe problems experienced in the Midwest, according to a U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released Tuesday.
The report compiled from emergency departments in 45 states found overdoses rose 109 percent in Wisconsin, 66 percent in Illinois, 35 percent in Indiana, 28 percent in Ohio and 21 percent in Missouri.
It also found substantial overdose increases among most demographic groups. Among men, it was 30 percent. Among women, it was 24 percent. Incidents climbed 21 percent among people aged 25 to 34. For those aged 35 to 54 it was 26 percent. There was a 32 percent increase among those 55 and older.
“Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses,” said a press statement from CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat. “This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States.”
A few areas, including Kentucky, noted decreased overdoses. The report said Kentucky’s reduction “might be explained by fluctuations in drug supply and warrant confirmation,” and small decreases in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island could be “related to implementation of interventions including expansion of access to medication-assisted treatment.”
The report said its findings “suggest a worsening of the epidemic into late 2017 in several states, possibly related to the wide variation in the availability and potency of illicit drug products (e.g., fentanyl sold as or mixed into heroin) that increase overdose risk and drive increases in mortality.”
It recommended that emergency departments offer naloxone and training to patients’ family and friends to assist if there are future overdoses, and connect patients with follow-up treatment services.
U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, said the report found a 54 percent increase in overdoses from July 2016 to September 2017 in the major metro areas of 16 states, including Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio.
“I meet with those on the frontlines of this opioid crisis in Ohio regularly,” said a statement from Portman. “This report confirms what health care providers, treatment specialists, and law enforcement have been telling me — this crisis is getting worse not better.”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2018/03/opioid_overdoses_spiked_28_per.html