Published: Thu, March 08, 2018
Medical | By Vernon Walton

Number of opioid overdoses skyrocket across the nation

Number of opioid overdoses skyrocket across the nation

But they varied state-by-state, with notable differences among rural and urban areas. States in the region, including OH and MI, were already among those with the highest opioid death rates.

The data shouldn't come as a major surprise in Pennsylvania, which has ranked near the top on assorted measures related to the opioid crisis, including total overdose deaths and per capita rate of overdoses. But some states, such as Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island showed a slight decrease. Kentucky, meanwhile, reported a statistically significant decrease (15%).

That rate of increase was the third highest in the country, behind only Wisconsin, where overdose cases went up 109 percent, and DE, where they went up 105 percent.

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drug overdose deaths declined in some states - but not in Oklahoma. They were seen in men and women. Overdoses in the Southeast rose at the slowest rate, increasing by 14 percent. Consistent with the program report, it indicates that the Midwest (70%) is the most burdened region.

All five USA regions experienced rate increases; the largest was in the Midwest (70 percent), followed by the West (40 percent), Northeast (21 percent), Southwest (20 percent), and Southeast (14 percent).

Increases among the 3 observed age groups were very consistent: 31% in ages 25-34; 36% in ages 35-54; 32% in ages 55 or older.

Emergency departments at SSM Health St. Mary's in both Madison and Sun Prairie started a program where people who overdose are encouraged to seek drug treatment. This includes naloxone for first responders, and mental health programs and medication for patients with opioid use disorder.

"The bottom line is that no area of the United States is exempt from this epidemic", Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, told The Washington Post.

"Up until now, we have been reporting on the tragic loss of life from overdoses, but for every fatal case, there are many more nonfatal cases, each one with its own emotional and economic toll", Schuchat said during a telebriefing on the report. "Data on opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments can inform timely, strategic, and coordinated response efforts in the community as well".

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