ME emergency department visits for opioid overdoses jumped 34 percent in 2017

ME emergency department visits for opioid overdoses jumped 34 percent in 2017

Alana M. Vivolo-Kantor, PhD, from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues examined emergency department syndromic and hospital billing data on opioid-involved overdoses during July 2016 to September 2017.

Wisconsin and DE each saw a more than 100 percent increase in opioid-related emergencies a year ago.

In 2017, ME saw 418 drug-related overdoses.

The report found that from July 2016 to September 2017, a total of 142,557 emergency room visits were due to suspected opioid overdoses.

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Kentucky saw the largest decrease of any state a year ago in emergency room visits related to opioid overdoses. But preliminary numbers from CDC show drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma rose by 12 percent, to 844 people.

"The fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating ..."

The data show that opioid overdoses increased for men and women, all age groups, and all regions, but varied by state, with differences also between rural and urban populations. This includes naloxone for first responders, and mental health programs and medication for patients with opioid use disorder.

The report noted the central role of state and local health departments in coordinating responses to opioid overdoses.

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"Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs", Vivolo-Kantor said. "Research shows that people who have had at least one overdose are more likely to have another. We are building the capacity for prevention and treatment to try to keep people out of the EDs", Harris said. "We really think that this is a wake-up call for all of us-that the opioid epidemic is in all of our communities and that there's more that we need to do", says Schuchat. "So (there would be) a person in the emergency department whose job it is to follow up with the person after they're awake, after they're home to make sure that they do get connected and potentially help link them with medically assisted - medication assisted treatment a few days out".

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.

Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses.

"The science is clear: addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing".

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