The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say Kentucky saw 15 percent fewer ER visits previous year for overdoses. But they varied state-by-state, with notable differences among rural and urban areas. States in the region, including OH and MI, were already among those with the highest opioid death rates.
The opioid epidemic reached new heights, with opioid overdoses in the ED jumping to 30%.
The rate of such ER visits rose 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. Kentucky, meanwhile, reported a statistically significant decrease (15%). That said, it's an issue affects every region, and calls for better coordination of care and access across the county and state lines.
The data is the latest sign that the "fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating", said Anne Schuchat, the CDC director. But those increases varied dramatically from state to state, even within a region.
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The more narrow analysis of 16 states during that time frame is based on 45 million emergency department visits and is what shows the greater variation from state to state and among jurisdictions within those states.
Furthermore, overdoses increased 40.3 percent in the West, 21.3 percent in the Northeast, 20.2 percent in the Southwest, as well as 14 percent in the Southeast.
Increases among the 3 observed age groups were very consistent: 31% in ages 25-34; 36% in ages 35-54; 32% in ages 55 or older. They were seen in men and women. The rates of suspected opioid overdoses rose by 5% each quarter on average. This includes naloxone for first responders, and mental health programs and medication for patients with opioid use disorder.
Officials fear the overdose rate and death toll are likely higher than the official statistics show, because many overdose victims will never pass through an emergency room. "Data on opioid overdoses treated in emergency departments can inform timely, strategic, and coordinated response efforts in the community as well".