Hospital emergency department visits for suspected opioid overdoses increased 30% from July 2016 through September 2017, to 142,557, according to a Vital Signs report released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. All five U.S. regions experienced rate increases, with the largest in the Midwest (70%) and West (40%). “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.” The report, based on data from 45 states, notes the central role of state and local health departments in coordinating responses to opioid overdoses. On March 13, CDC will host a webinar with U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, M.D., and others on coordinating clinical and public health responses to opioid overdoses treated in the ED.

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