World US hospital visits for opioid overdoses spiking

US hospital visits for opioid overdoses spiking

Image result for Dr. Anne Schuchat
Dr. Anne Schuchat

CDC reports emergency room visits for overdoses surged 30 percent between 2016 and 2017

 A report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that emergency room visits for opioid overdoses grew 30 percent in 45 states between 2016 and 2017.

The study, which spanned between July 2016 and September 2017, revealed there was a 70 percent surge in opioid overdoses in Midwestern states like Ohio and Illinois. Overdoses in major cities in 16 states, including Philadelphia and Chicago, rose 54 percent during the period.   

The grim data indicates that the opioid crisis in the United States shows no signs of abating, according to CDC leaders.

Dr. Anne Schuchat, the CDC’s acting director, said the grim new arithmetic, which came from emergency room statistics, confirmed some suspicions.

“We’re currently seeing the highest drug overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States,” she said during a conference call.

President Donald Trump has vowed to defeat the crisis, declaring the rise of opioid addiction a national public health emergency last October. Many advocates and lawmakers in Congress have criticized his administration for not doing much about the issue. 

Last week, Trump led a summit about opioid addiction in the U.S. 

“The administration is going to be rolling out policy over the next three weeks, and it will be very, very strong,” said Trump.

At the summit, Trump suggested the White House may take legal action against manufacturers of opioids. He also hinted approval of deadly measures taken by nations like the Philippines against drug dealers, saying that American drug dealers “kill hundreds and hundreds of people, and most of them don’t even go to jail”.

Also Tuesday, researchers the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Health Care System announced a study finding that opioid painkillers were no better than non-opioid medications at improving chronic back, knee and hip pain over the long term.

In terms of overdose deaths, the CDC said 42,000 Americans were killed during 2016, the most recent year data is available for.