Opioid overdoses kill nearly 5 people every hour in the US — CDC

09 March, 2018, 09:48 | Author: Homer Porter
  • Opioid crisis: overdoses increased by a third across US in 14 months, says CDC

A key point from the CDC is that the epidemic has shifted into a new phase. During the entire period studied, the state had 3,427 ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses.

"We have a crisis staring us in the face", says CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat.

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

Some states surveyed did see decreases in ER visits: Overdose visits in Kentucky - among the hardest-hit states in the opioid epidemic - dropped 15 percent. The biggest jumps were in the Midwest and in cities, but increases occurred nationwide.

The CDC reported that overdose rates were highest in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Missouri.

A new Vital Signs report from the agency, based on emergency department data, shows in the nine months through September 2017, overdoses increased across all regions, in most states, for both men and women, and for most age groups.

"[This] means 115 people die each day from opioid overdose", she said.

The report didn't specify why overdoses vary across the country.

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"We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable".

"We're continually seeing a rise in deaths due to our inability to go upstream and actually prevent these people from overdosing", Miller said. "It is concerning that 20 years into this epidemic, it is still getting worse. But nothing yet has happened". Too often, addicts are simply revived and sent home without follow-up care, only to overdose again, she says.

Fifteen out of 10,000 emergency room visits involved opioid overdoses between July 2016 and September 2017.

The emergency department admission data is quicker to be released and gathered than death certificate information - and indicates that the tidal surge of overdoses continues to gather strength, officials said.

That analysisshowed a 34.5 percent increase between the same periods in 2016 and 2017.

Increases in other states across the nation are even more alarming - Wisconsin up 108 percent, Pennsylvania 80 percent, DE nearly 105 percent in suspected overdoses.

For example, overdoses increased 105 percent in DE, compared with 80.6 percent in Pennsylvania and 34 percent in Maine.

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.

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