Opioid-related deaths in emergency departments increased by approximately 30% across all regions of the United States between 2016 and 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Analysis of 91 million ED visits from the CDC’s National Syndromic Surveillance Program and Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance database found significant increases in opioid overdose deaths in 16 states, reaching as high as 109% in Wisconsin and 106% in Delaware, CDC officials said during a press briefing.
“We are currently seeing the highest drug overdose death rate ever recorded in the United States, driven by prescription opioids and by illicit opioids such as heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl,” said Anne Schuchat, MD, acting CDC director. “In 2016, there were more than 63,000 drug overdose deaths, and more than 42,000 of those deaths involved an opioid.”
Of the 91 million visits, a total of 261,755 were suspected of opioid overdoses across both databases.