Despite Headlines and Interventions, Opioid Overdoses Surge

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The most recent numbers available show no signs of slowing down for the USA opioid epidemic, with emergency room visits increasing through 2017 in most states, especially in the Midwest, and across all age groups, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data.

Overdoses increased in nearly every state, with the Midwest seeing a particularly steep 70 percent rise between July 2016 and September 2017.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", said acting director Anne Schuchat. "This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age". Researchers said overdose rates in that system increased about 30% in all regions and most states.

The report compiled from emergency departments in 45 states found overdoses rose 109 percent in Wisconsin, 66 percent in IL, 35 percent in IN, 28 percent in OH and 21 percent in Missouri.

Emergency department visits, as outlined in Tuesday's report, capture a snapshot of the opioid crisis faster, and the picture shows virtually no sign of improvement across much of the U.S.

The report also confirms that what started as a problem predominantly in suburban and rural areas has become increasingly urban: Large, metropolitan areas saw a 54 percent jump in ER visits, likely because of the influx of synthetic opioids like fentanyl into heroin and other drugs. Missouri's rate increased by 21 percent.

The report explained health departments can alert communities of increases in overdoses and support access and availability to treatment.

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"The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing".

"We're actually trying to assess them for a chronic addiction, and then making any interventions that might help with the right person if they're willing to change", Shearer says.

'Coordinated action between [emergency rooms], health departments, mental health and treatment providers, community-based organizations, and law enforcement can prevent opioid overdose and death, ' its new report said. Among men, it was 30 percent.

At the start of the opioid epidemic, US policy focused on stemming the flow of prescription opioids from doctors and pharmacies, Miller said.

The most recent information could disparage the overdoses, since numerous individuals who overdose never wind up in the crisis room.

While overdoses increased across the country, some regions were hit harder than others.

Medication-assisted treatment, combined with counseling and behavioral therapies, should be on offer once an emergency situation has been remedied, the CDC said, even starting the discussion immediately after naloxone takes effect.