Tuesday, 22 May, 2018

CDC: Opioid overdoses jump 30% across US

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Jerome Frank | 07 March, 2018, 11:44

Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses jumped about 30 percent in the U.S.in just over a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

All regions included in the study experienced increases in overdose rates, Alana Vivolo-Kantor, of the CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, and colleagues reported.

"This fast-moving epidemic does not distinguish age, sex or state or county lines, and it's still increasing in every region of the United States", she said during a media briefing on Tuesday.

Comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, researchers found a 29.7 percent jump in ER visits due to opioids.

Opioid overdoses increased for both sexes and all age groups.

The biggest local increment happened in the Midwest, which saw a 69.7 percent bounce in opioid overdoses, as per the report.

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.

Half of the 16 states saw "significant" increases - of 25 percent or greater - overdose visits during that time period.

The Minnesota Department of Health study joins a growing body of documented, academic research that seems to strongly indicate that cannabis use-far from being an invitation to harder drugs-could actually be a viable alternative for treating addiction to opioids and overuse of prescription painkillers.

'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.

"That gives us an opportunity to give them lifesaving Naloxone", she said. Among men, it was 30 percent.

"We think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable".

U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told reporters Tuesday that President Donald Trump's administration is trying to decrease supply of and demand for opioids, and reduce the stigma of addiction.

In the face of the glaring data for Pennsylvania and similarly embattled states, the CDC provided some recommendations for how to coordinate responses to opioid overdoses.

Increase naloxone distribution (an overdose-reversing drug) to first responders, family and friends, and other community members in affected areas, as policies permit.

The report also encouraged the broadened availability and use of medication-assisted treatment, such as methadone, naltrexone or buprenorphine, to help people with opioid use disorder, as well as peer navigators who can help a person if they are ready to seek treatment but don't know how or where to look.

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