Despite Headlines and Interventions, Opioid Overdoses Surge

Despite Headlines and Interventions, Opioid Overdoses Surge

The overall increase in opioid overdoses seen in hospital emergency rooms between the third quarter of 2016 and the third quarter of 2017 occurred across the nation.

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

Emergency rooms around the country saw a spike in patients overdosing on opioids past year, according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and released Tuesday.

"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, a press release.

Repeat opioid overdoses can be avoided through treatment referrals provided during emergency department visits.

"I often don't know if it's heroin, methadone or fentanyl they've overdosed on".

The CDC also used a second data set, the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP), which covers 60% of emergency departments in 45 states, to look at regional changes.

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"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.

"This is a very hard and fast-moving epidemic and there are no easy solutions", said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Distribution of naloxone, an overdose-reversal measure, could be distributed to not only first responders, but also to friends and family of people who are drug users.

Despite the scope of the opioid crisis, a 2015 Michigan State University study found that 32 percent of Americans did not recognize the signs of prescription drug misuse, suggesting that these signs may need to be taught more clearly to the general public. He added that communities and the country should broaden their perspective to include looking at health care, education, economy and more, and in that process, may develop better ideas on how to stem early death.

Today - two new reports about opioids.

The specialists additionally investigated 45 million crisis division visits that happened in 16 states amid a similar period, which included 119,198 speculated opioid overdoses.

Overdoses increased in all five regions of the United States, and in every demographic. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House.

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