Opioid overdoses spiked 30% in a year

Faith Castro
March 8, 2018

It did not matter if people lived in rural or urban areas - overdoses rose in all kinds of cities and towns.

The US opioid crisis claimed 63,600 lives in 2016, the National Center for Health Statistics has previously said. "We have been challenged to keep up with this fast-moving epidemic", she said.

"With continued increases in opioid overdoses, availability of timely data are important to inform actions taken by emergency departments and public health practitioners", the report concluded.

The data did not reveal what types of drugs or drug combinations led to these suspected opioid overdoses, Schuchat said.

There's more bad news about the nation's devastating opioid epidemic.

Now, their fast tracking method has revealed that the crisis is far from over. Increased data flow to respond to overdose increases would speed response by officials, the CDC adds.

But the rates varied between regions and states. In 45 states, opioid overdoses rose 30 percent in a year.

Eight of those states included saw "substantial" overdose increases of at least 25%.

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The CDC also used looked at a second data set, from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) Biosense platform.

Opioid overdoses were up 30% in the previous year across the United States, a study by a federal agency has found.

While overdoses increased across the country, some regions were hit harder than others. The biggest jump was in the midwest, with a 70% increase.

But the opioid epidemic also fueled increased overdose rates in the West (40 percent), Northeast (21 percent), Southwest (20 percent), and Southeast (14 percent).

"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. The report said Kentucky's reduction "might be explained by fluctuations in drug supply and warrant confirmation", and small decreases in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island could be "related to implementation of interventions including expansion of access to medication-assisted treatment".

Meanwhile, White House officials are being briefed today by Dr Warren Bickel, an addiction neuroscientist with Virginia Tech University, whose aim is to educate the government on the behavioral science behind the opioid epidemic.

The report highlighted a number of prevention and treatment methods that have been, and will continue to be, implemented to drive down the staggering effects of the nationwide crisis.

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