(RxWiki News) Opioid overdoses are continuing their rapid upward trend, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Between July 2016 and September 2017, emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased by 30 percent in the United States. The CDC researchers behind this finding noted that the increases were seen among men, women, people of all ages and people from all regions of the country.
In recent years, the abuse of opioid painkillers has become a national health concern, leading to countless deaths and cases of addiction. And the problem has continued to worsen each year, according to the CDC.
This latest report found that all US regions saw increases in emergency department visits for opioid overdoses. The Midwest saw the largest increase (70 percent) and was followed in order by the West, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast. All adult age groups (> 25 years old) saw increases in emergency room visits of more than 30 percent.
The authors of this new report said state and local health departments can combat this growing problem by increasing awareness and expanding access to treatment services.
"Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone (an overdose-reversing drug) and linking people to treatment, are critical needs,” said Dr. Alana Vivolo-Kantor, of the CDC’s National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, in a press release. “Data on opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments can inform timely, strategic, and coordinated response efforts in the community as well.”
If opioid abuse is affecting your life or the life of a loved one, reach out to a qualified health care professional.
These findings were published in the CDC's Vital Signs report.