CDC: ED opioid overdoses rise 30%

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According to a report published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation's hospitalization rate directly linked to opioid misuse has risen about 30 percent, which is an alarming figure bar none.

The Midwest and Northeast saw the largest increases.

Under state law, doctors are required to check a prescription drug monitoring database to see if a patient is getting large amounts of opioids from different doctors.

Opioid overdoses in ED visits increased 30% from July 2016 to September 2017. The response plan includes allowing emergency room doctors to start overdose survivors in medication.

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There is little sign that the opioid epidemic is slowing down, and emergency rooms across the country are bracing for another night of frantic lifesaving efforts to keep the victims alive.

The increases were prevalent in both men and women of all age groups in all regions, according to the report.

The latest data could underestimate the overdoses, because many people who overdose never end up in the emergency room.

Schuchat and Adams called for expanding the use of naloxone to first responders, community members and overdose victims and their families to prevent opioid overdoses.

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The report also suggests emergency departments coordinate with local health departments, state officials, treatment providers and police to identify an action plan to get people into treatment.

"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.

"We think that the idea of initiating medically-assisted treatment in the emergency department is an innovative and exciting strategy", Schuchat said.

The report did not go into whether opioid deaths also rose during the same period studied, since death certificate data can take longer to gather. "The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing".

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Others say the key is integrating addiction treatment better into the health care system. "However, there an increasing number of high quality studies that are demonstrating, for a number of conditions, injuries, and surgeries, a combination of ibuprofen or naproxen and acetaminophen is as effective or more effective than an opioid in reducing pain", Hull said.

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