Four Reasons Why the Opioid Epidemic Is Getting Worse, Not Better

Four Reasons Why the Opioid Epidemic Is Getting Worse, Not Better

Statewide data was not available for the other New England states - Vermont and CT.

There is little sign that the opioid epidemic is slowing down, and emergency rooms across the country are bracing for another night of frantic lifesaving efforts to keep the victims alive.

Emergency department visits jumped 35 percent for the 16 states where overdose visits were tracked by CDC researchers.

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 data is not yet available for the entire nation.

In the Midwest alone, hospital visits for opioid overdoses rose 70 percent during that time, according to the March CDC report. During the entire period studied, the state had 3,427 ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses.

While there was no state-by-state breakdown of visits by the CDC, the Maine Hospital Association estimated that there were about 1,500 to 2,000 visits to Maine emergency departments for opioid overdoses in the year measured.

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"Research shows that people who have had an overdose are more likely to have another". "Without adequate prevention and treatment services, you will see an increased utilization of jails and emergency departments".

United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said his family has been affected by the opioid crisis.

"We have an emergency on our hands", says acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat. "But the substances are more unsafe than five years ago", Schuchat says. In Kentucky, the CDC's analysis showed a 15 percent drop in overdoses.

"It's widespread in the community now in a way that it never was before", Southall said. Timely treatment with naloxone can reverse the effects of opioids.

"We've really come a long way".

"We know that up to 90 percent of people will relapse in the first year going through rehab", he said.

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Among the solutions is increasing access to medication-assisted treatment, which combines behavioral therapy with medication to reduce withdrawal symptoms, Shah said.

Smith said about 10,000 Mainers struggling with substance use disorder would gain access to treatment when Medicaid is expanded.

New data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests drug overdose deaths declined in some states - but not in Oklahoma.

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.

Schuchat further admits that "we think that the number of people addicted to opioids is relatively stable".

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