Emergency rooms in the United States saw an upswing in opioid overdoses past year in a trend that continues to rise as the nation battles the epidemic, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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.
Drug overdose deaths dropped in 14 states, making health officials hopeful that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working.
The analysis was based on about 91 million emergency room visits that occurred between July 2016 and September 2017, including 142,557 visits that were suspected opioid overdoses.
Dr. John Southall, director of Mercy Hospital's Emergency Department, said that department has seen a decline in opioid overdose cases over the past year.
The report measured the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, and was the first time the federal government collected emergency department data on opioid overdoses.
According to the CDC report released Tuesday, ER visits for opioid overdose increased more in urban areas than they did in rural areas, a trend that may signal an increase in illicit street drugs as opposed to prescription painkillers.
The latest data could underestimate the overdoses, because many people who overdose never end up in the emergency room.
Increase availability of and access to treatment services, including mental health services and medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorder. This data may not be a indicative of the epidemic as a whole, as many individuals who experience an overdose are not always admitted into urgent care facilities. But only that of Kentucky, with a 15 percent decrease, is considered statistically significant. "We are building the capacity for prevention and treatment to try to keep people out of the EDs", Harris said.
Schuchat called the report "concerning", but said there are opportunities for hospitals, law enforcement and community groups to create partnerships to address the crisis.
Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses. The CDC now recommends against using opioids for chronic pain.