Surge in Opioid Overdose Emergency Department Visits

A recent CDC report examining emergency department data from July-September 2016 vs July-September 2017 shows a 30% increase in opioid overdose visits in the U.S. Such data can identify trends much sooner than waiting for data from death certificates.

A closer analysis of 16 states that received funding to better track opioid overdoses showed the Midwest is hardest hit with a 70% increase in opioid overdose visits. Wisconsin had the highest increase at 109%. Some improvement was seen in 5 states with modest decreases (see figure).

In an interview with NPR, acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat cited one reason for geographic variability: the supply of highly potent and illegal fentanyl increasing faster in some parts of the country.

So, what does the CDC recommend? A companion editorial emphasizes guidelines and protocols for emergency physicians to not only reverse opioid overdoses, but to prevent future overdoses. This includes following evidence-based prescribing guidelines, using prescription drug monitoring program (PDMP) data, providing education, and other post-overdose protocols, including follow-up services. Additionally, the CDC recommends a coordinated response among state and local health departments, public safety personnel, mental health care providers, and other stakeholders.

Learn about safe opioid prescribing in a CO*RE course.

A recent CDC report examining emergency department data from July-September 2016 vs July-September 2017 shows a 30% increase in opioid overdose visits in the U.S. Such data can identify trends much sooner than waiting for data from death certificates.

CORE REMS - Find an Online Course
Find a Course
For Further Reading

  1. Emergency Department Data Show Rapid Increases in Opioid Overdoses
  2. Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance
  3. Jump In Overdoses Shows Opioid Epidemic Has Worsened
  4. Fentanyl Deaths Alarmingly High
  5. Opportunities for Prevention and Intervention of Opioid Overdose in the Emergency Department
  6. States Go Their Own Way With Opioid Laws
2018-03-29T19:35:10+00:00 March 29th, 2018|