IL sees 66 percent jump in emergency room visits for opioid overdoses

Kristen Gonzales
March 8, 2018

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Kentucky saw 15 percent fewer ER visits a year ago for overdoses.

"The increases in overdoses were seen in adults of all age groups".

Hospitalizations for overdoses rose by 69.7 percent in the Midwest, 40.3 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the Northeast and 20.2 percent in the Southwest.

The report calls on health departments to better inform its communities of these significant rates, as well as increase access to treatments and resources to overdose and addiction.

"We have an emergency on our hands", said Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC, according to NPR.

That's not to say they're the sole region affected by the opioid epidemic. "However, if the person is seen in the ED, we are presented with an opportunity to take steps toward preventing a repeat overdose, ideally linking an individual to care and potentially preventing an overdose death".

Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania and DE are among the states to show a 50 percent or more increase.

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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. "Closer coordination between public health and public safety can serve to address changes in the illicit opioid supply and use of illicit opioids, which affects overdose rates", she continued.

"The science is clear: addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing".

"We don't have to wait until it's too late", Schuchat said. "It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States".

"There's a lot more we can do", he said.

According to the CDC, the number of people rushed to the hospital after an opioid overdose jumped 30 percent nationwide between July 2016 and September 2017.

Rates of opioid overdoses in the ED decreased significantly by 15% in Kentucky.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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