The opioid epidemic continues to worsen, as indicated by the latest Vital Signs report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which uses information from emergency departments in states around the country.
According to the report, ER visits for suspected opioid overdoses in 45 states rose 30 percent from July 2016 through September 2017. Opioid overdose rates increased in men and women in all age groups but varied by state and by rural and urban areas.
The Midwest experienced the largest increase in opioid-related emergencies (70 percent), followed by the West (40 percent increase), the Northeast (21 percent), the Southwest (20 percent), and the Southeast (14 percent). The large increases and variations from state-to-state and county-to-county suggest there’s a need for better coordination among public health and safety agencies, according to the CDC.