CDC: Opioid overdoses jump 30% across US

Opioid crisis: overdoses increased by a third across US in 14 months, says CDC

Emergency rooms slammed with opioid overdoses in Missouri and Illinois

Emergency department (ED) visits for suspected opioid overdoses rose by 30% throughout the a year, according to the CDC.

That survey showed an increase of 29.7 percent in 52 jurisdictions in 45 states between July through September 2016 and the same period in 2017, according to the report. The largest increases were in the Midwest -- a 70 percent rise - and the West, with a 40.3 percent hike.

The report didn't specify why overdoses vary across the country. But a report by NPR suggested the availability of highly potent drugs like fentanyl may have had an impact on the number of overdoses there. But preliminary numbers from CDC show drug overdose deaths in Oklahoma rose by 12 percent, to 844 people. It's unclear, Schuchat said in a press call Tuesday afternoon, whether those states - which have been dealing with the opioid crisis longer and generally have more programs in place to prevent overdoses - are seeing the beginning of a persistent decline or simply a "statistical fluctuation".

In a media briefing on Tuesday, CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D., said the seeing the highest drug overdose death rate ever recorded in the country.

For example, overdoses increased 105 percent in DE, compared with 80.6 percent in Pennsylvania and 34 percent in Maine.

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Overdoses increased in nearly every state, with the Midwest seeing a particularly steep 70 percent rise between July 2016 and September 2017.

"I often don't know if it's heroin, methadone or fentanyl they've overdosed on".

The CDC concluded in their report that emergency room data can serve as "an early warning system, alerting communities to changes in prevalence of overdoses and permitting a timely, informed and localized response".

The survey did find small declines in overdose visits in a few states, including MA and New Hampshire.

This can make it easier to identify where there are gaps in local resources and how they can best be allocated, becasue having one overdose makes it likely a person will have another.

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That investigation demonstrated a 34.5 percent expansion between similar periods in 2016 and 2017.

However, neither Congress nor the White House has appropriated new funding to treat people affected by the opioid crisis, despite pleas from public health officials, some of whom have put a starting price tag at $6bn.

"Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs", said Alana Vivolo-Kantor, a behavioral scientist in CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.

The rate rose most in the Midwest - 70 percent, including a 65 percent hike in IL. Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Delaware and IL reported an uptick of 50 percent or more, the report said. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House.

STEIN: Kolodny says the nation needs billions of dollars to provide treatment for the millions of Americans struggling with their addiction.

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"The science is clear - addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing", he said.

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