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CDC data shows rapid increase in ER visits for opioid overdoses

CDC data shows rapid increase in ER visits for opioid overdoses
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Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased sharply from 2016 to 2017, according to new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC report finds that emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased 30 percent in 45 states from July 2016 to September 2017.

CDC acting Director Anne Schuchat said the data could be an early warning sign of a worsening crisis.

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“Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses,” she said in a statement.

“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.”

The report found that the rate of emergency room visits for opioid overdoses increased in every region of the country, including 70 percent in the Midwest, 40 percent in the West, 21 percent in the Northeast, 20 percent in the Southwest and 14 percent in the Southeast.

Overdose rates also increased for men and women and all age groups, the data found.

The report illustrates the depth of the epidemic at a time when Congress is renewing efforts to pass opioid legislation.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee is hoping to get a package to the House floor by Memorial Day.