CDC report: Opioid overdoses spike 30 percent across nation

CDC report: Opioid overdoses spike 30 percent across nation

"This is really a fast-moving epidemic that's getting worse", said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC and acting administrator of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, who was not an author of the report.

"We're seeing the highest ever death rates in the U.S.", Schuchat said.

In Wisconsin, visits spiked 107 percent between July 2016 and September 2017, compared with 105 percent in DE, and 81 percent in Pennsylvania, with by far the largest population of the three.

The report did not go into whether opioid deaths also rose during the same period studied, since death certificate data can take longer to gather.

Benjamin Miller with the Well Being Trust, a national foundation that explores holistic health issues, said the latest CDC data on opioid overdoses is tragic, unsurprising and offers the latest "reflection of our country's inability to have a timely and comprehensive response to these issues". In the USA in 2016, illicit and prescription drug overdoses killed 64,000 people.

The programs software collects data on more than 60 percent of all emergency room visits across the U.S. in 45 states.

The states with the largest increases in overdose-related visits during the period were Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri. And researchers there estimate 63,000 people died after they overdosed on drugs in 2016.

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Public health experts say use of the overdose antidote Naloxone, coupled with a decline in opioid prescriptions may be working.

Among about 45 million emergency department visits identified in the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance Program, which includes 16 states, a total of 119,198 were suspected opioid overdoses.

However, New Orleans Emergency Medical Services administered naloxone, the drug used to revive patients suffering from a drug overdose, to 1,224 patients in 2017.

Opioid overdoses increased for both men and women, across all age groups, and in all regions, though there was some variation by state, with rural and urban differences. In 2016 the coroner's office reported 89 drug-related overdose deaths.

The report didn't specify why overdoses vary across the country. Scott Walker signed two executive orders mid-January to continue the fight against opioid abuse in Wisconsin.

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.

Nearly 100 people are dying every day across America from opioid overdoses - more than vehicle crashes and shootings combined. Belated efforts to rein in distribution fueled a resurgence of heroin and the emergence of a deadly, black market version of the synthetic opioid fentanyl. She added that the opioid epidemic has come in three waves, and overprescribing represents just the first. "So even without an increase in people who are using opioids, the use of an opioid is even more unsafe than it used to be".

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