COCA Now: Emergency Department Data Show Rapid Increases in Opioid Overdoses

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Emergency Department Data Show Rapid Increases in Opioid Overdoses

Data from emergency departments (EDs) show that the U.S. opioid overdose epidemic continues to worsen, according to the latest Vital Signs report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The report examines the timeliest data available to CDC on ED visits for opioid overdoses across multiple states. Overall, ED visits (reported by 52 jurisdictions in 45 states) for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30 percent in the U.S., from July 2016 through September 2017. Opioid overdoses increased for men and women, all age groups, and all regions, but varied by state, with rural/urban differences. The findings highlight the need for enhanced prevention and treatment efforts in EDs and for greater access to evidence-based opioid use disorder treatments, including medication-assisted treatment and harm reduction services.

“Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses,” said CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat, M.D. “This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States.”

Read the full press release here. For more information about opioid overdose and prevention including guidance to healthcare providers, click here.

Opioid Overdose

Upcoming Joint Webinar

Vital Signs Town Hall Teleconference and COCA Call

On March 13, 2018 (2-3:30 pm ET), CDC will host a webinar “Coordinating Clinical and Public Health Responses to Opioid Overdoses Treated in Emergency Departments,” featuring the US Surgeon General, Acting CDC Director, a CDC subject matter expert, and other clinical and public health professionals for a webinar discussing new data and coordinated efforts by clinicians, public health government, and communities to respond to increasing opioid overdose department visits. This combined webinar joins these two audiences together to provide a discussion on how clinicians and public health communities can work together in coordinating a more robust response to the opioid overdose epidemic.

During this call, clinicians and public health practitioners will learn about the increases in opioid-related morbidity and steps they can take together to reverse these trends.