A New Study Shows ER Visits for Overdoses Are Skyrocketing

Narcan also known as Naloxone is an opiate overdose antidote

Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses jumped about 30 percent in the U.S.in just over a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The investigation depended on around 91 million crisis room visits that happened between July 2016 and September 2017, including 142,557 visits that were suspected opioid overdoses. In the first nine months of 2017, the state had 609 opioid deaths, a 5 percent decrease from the same period in 2016.

"Our results through September 2017 show opioid overdoses are increasing across all regions, most states for most men and women and most age groups", said Dr Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC.

And that 30 percent figure is just an average; the Midwest saw an increase of closer to 70 percent.

The hospital data is collected by the CDC's Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance program. Overdoses expanded 40.3 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the Northeast, 20.2 percent in the Southwest, and 14 percent in the Southeast. Almost two thirds of those deaths involved prescription opioids as well as illicit opioids.

Rising opioid overdose deaths have been linked to a falling US life expectancy - it dropped in 2015 and again in 2016. The Orleans Parish and Jefferson Parish Coroner's offices expect to release data from 2017 at the end of March.

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Health departments also can notify communities about emerging spikes in emergency department overdoses so that public health and public safety resources can be better coordinated to respond when help is needed most. At least 1,142 of those cases involved known or suspected overdose from an opiate.

That report did not specify any local numbers for overdose cases, but 2 On Your Side did learn that our local physicians and other health care professionals are seeking ways to reduce such cases. Previously, the agency looked at death from opioids, which lag behind reports from emergency rooms.

Tens of thousands of lives are also lost annually. In 2016 the coroner's office reported 89 drug-related overdose deaths.

The Trump administration launched an opioid commission past year, which produced 56 recommendations for how the nation can move forward in addressing this epidemic.

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

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation is in the grip of a fast-moving epidemic for which there are no easy solutions.

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