CDC: Increases in Opioid-Involved Overdoses in All Five US Regions

CDC: Increases in Opioid-Involved Overdoses in All Five US Regions

New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the opioid crisis continues to worsen in the Carolinas and throughout the country. In 45 states, opioid overdoses rose 30 percent in a year.

The report found that urban centers saw a greater increase in overdose visits than rural areas, which have traditionally been seen as the hardest hit by the nation's opioid epidemic. The exact number was not released.

Drug overdose deaths dropped in 14 states, making health officials hopeful that policies aimed at curbing the death toll may be working.

CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, MD, said it's ED data-not prolonged death certificates-that can give regions better indication as to the growth and movement of the opioid epidemic.

Support programs that reduce harms which can occur when injecting opioids, including those that offer screening for HIV and hepatitis B and C, in combination with referral to treatment.

Dr. Nirav D. Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said the rise in overdoses in the state is not unexpected given the upsurge in fentanyl-laced heroin across the state.

The opioid epidemic in America seems to be getting worse with each passing year.

"Emergency department education and post-overdose protocols, including providing naloxone and linking people to treatment, are critical needs", Vivolo-Kantor said.

Among the solutions is increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, which combines behavioral therapy with medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms, Shah said. "We really think that this is a wake-up call for all of us-that the opioid epidemic is in all of our communities and that there's more that we need to do", says Schuchat. "Another innovative approach is the idea of navigators".

The report did not go into whether opioid deaths also rose during the same period studied, since death certificate data can take longer to gather. And common painkillers don't have side effects, such as leading people into opioid addiction, the study concluded. The CDC now recommends against using opioids for chronic pain.

Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses. "The number of Americans experiencing opioid overdoses is still increasing".