Saturday, 23 June, 2018

Illinois Sees Steep Increase In Opioid ER Visits

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed
Delia Stanley | 08 March, 2018, 02:12

A report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that the US opioid overdose epidemic is worsening.

Significant increases in opioid overdoses were also seen across all five regions in the United States, with the Midwest showing the most dramatic increase (69.7%), followed by the West (40.3%), Northeast (21.3%), Southwest (20.2%) and Southeast (14%). The continued increase in overdoses amid a coordinated effort to bring down opioid deaths is a troubling sign of the stubborn stranglehold of addiction.

New federal data show that IL emergency rooms saw a 66 percent increase in opioid overdose visits past year.

"We're now seeing the highest drug overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States, driven by prescription opioids and by illicit opioids such as heroin and illicitly-manufactured fentanyl,"Anne Schuchat, MD, acting director of the CDC, said during a telebriefing on the report".

That's not to say they're the sole region affected by the opioid epidemic.

A $4.8 million program launched by the LePage administration a year ago to help the uninsured gain access to treatment - the Opioid Health Home program - has only helped a handful of uninsured people, according to the Maine Department of Health and Human Services.

Schuchat and Adams called for expanding the use of naloxone to first responders, community members and overdose victims and their families to prevent opioid overdoses. It is typical to see overdose increases at the start of the month, when many people get their paychecks, but the spikes could also be due to growing fentanyl use, he said. He said the expansion of Narcan use - an opioid overdose antidote - in the greater Portland area has probably led to decreased numbers of overdoses ending up in emergency rooms.

But Harris said many people who have substance use disorder are uninsured, and trying to get the uninsured into a medication-assisted treatment program is hard. "We know that prescribing patterns for opioids have been high in some rural areas", Schuchat said.

Support the use of the CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, which encourages using prescription drug monitoring programs (PDMPs) to inform clinical practice.

Emergency rooms are seeing a jump in opioid overdoses.

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