Report shows steep rise in opioid-related ER visits in Maine


IL emergency rooms experienced a 66 percent jump in opioid overdose visits a year ago, according to a new report that suggests the epidemic of heroin and prescription painkiller abuse continues to worsen in some states.

In just one year, overdoses from opioids jumped by about 30 percent, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 16 states hard-hit by the opioid epidemic, ER visits from overdoses rose 35 percent during that time.

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

"We wanted more timely information", Schuchat says. Opioid overdoses increased for men and women, all age groups, and all regions, but varied by state, with rural/urban differences.

The report, however, did not break down overdoses by the type of opioid, for example pain pills, heroin, or fentanyl.

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The findings in the report could help identify and track overdoses in a way that helps the development of responses from both the medical community and law enforcement agencies, Schuchat said.

The ED2Recovery Program has also expanded to UW Hospital and there are efforts to expand it statewide using federal grant money.

The crisis is gripping Illinois' urban and suburban communities alike.

The data reports that, from the same time frame as the ESOOS Program report, all 5 USA regions experienced increases in overdose rates.

"It's the scariest thing I've ever seen in my career", Eiseman said.

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In issuing it, the CDC also offered recommended actions, including making medication assisted treatment immediately available to overdose survivors.

The Midwest recorded the highest jump, a 70 per cent increase, with 20.8 overdoses for every 1,000 people.

In the Northeast, opioid overdose emergency room visits rose by 105 percent in DE and 81 percent in Pennsylvania.

However, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island are among states showing a decrease in such visits, according to the CDC data.

In the Southeast, which at 14 percent had the lowest regional increase in overdose visits, Kentucky reported a statistically significant decrease of 15 percent. However, Schuchat noted that these drops are likely insignificant because those states previously saw high rates of overdose. But, she later added, "whether we are seeing real, true persistent declines or they are statistic fluctuations, we just don't know yet".

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That's partly because many overdoses occur away from hospitals. This includes naloxone for first responders, and mental health programs and medication for patients with opioid use disorder.