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.
The first, the Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance (ESOOS) program, is a snapshot of emergency department data from 16 states.
"The bottom line", said Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director, "is that no area of the United States is exempt from this epidemic".
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"We saw, tragically, that in each locale, in each age gathering of grown-ups, in the two men and ladies, overdoses from opioids are expanding", Schuchat says. Among those regions, Midwestern emergency departments experienced the highest increase in overdoses - up to 70 percent - compared to those in the Southeast, which saw a rise of 14 percent.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the nation is in the grip of a fast-moving epidemic for which there are no easy solutions. More than 63,000 drug overdose deaths occurred in the country during 2016, and more than 40,000 of those involved opioids. Medical staff can administer naloxone - a life-saving antidote that can act in seconds to reverse a potentially fatal opioid overdose - and teach loved ones how to use the medication to prevent death from an opioid overdose. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Delaware and IL reported an uptick of 50 percent or more, the report said. But Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and even hard-hit West Virginia and Kentucky showed declines, with Kentucky's decline being 15 percent.
"[This] means 115 people die each day from opioid overdose", she said. Overall as a nation, we are still failing to adequately respond to the opiate addiction epidemic. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House.
"Science is clear: Addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing", the doctor said.
STEIN: Too often, she says, addicts are simply revived and sent home only to overdose again.