News Worms
News Worms

Despite Headlines and Interventions, Opioid Overdoses Surge

Despite Headlines and Interventions, Opioid Overdoses Surge

All five monitored regions revealed a spike in people with possible opioid overdoses between July 2016 and September 2017, according to data from the CDC's Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance Program.

According to Politifact, more than 64,000 people died in the USA in 2016 from drug overdoses - the majority of which were linked to opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin.

A handful of states - New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Kentucky and West Virginia - saw a decrease in overdoses that brought patients to the emergency room.

"The increases occurred in most demographic groups and USA regions and suggest a worsening of the epidemic into late 2017 in several states, possibly related to the wide variation in the availability and potency of illicit drug products", the report said.

In his organization's recent report, Pain in the Nation, Miller, along with the Trust for America's Health, called for a national resilience strategy to address "deaths of despair", that in 2015 amounted to 127,500 deaths driven by drug overdoses, alcohol and suicide.

The general increment in opioid overdoses found in healing facility crisis rooms between the second from last quarter of 2016 and 2017 happened the country over.

"[This] means 115 people die each day from opioid overdose", she said. In states where the opioid crisis has been especially prevalent, backlogs have emerged.

Unlike annual overdose deaths, which take more than a year to tally up, data on ER visits comes in real time, giving a more accurate portrait of the ongoing epidemic.

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. 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.

STEIN: But some parts of the country are being hit harder than others. The biggest jump was in the midwest, with a 70% increase.

STEIN: That's despite the epidemic getting lots of attention from the highest levels of government.

"We know that up to 90 percent of people will relapse in the first year going through rehab", he said. President Trump recently declared the epidemic a national emergency. It's kind of like pointing to a burning building and saying, oh, there's a fire there; there's an emergency, and then not calling the fire department and watching it burn down. Others say one key could be training emergency room doctors and nurses to make sure addicts get help to break their addiction.


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