Overdoses kill 90 people in the United States each day; opioid poisonings Cst more than $20 billion emergency department, hospital care.
Hospital stays involving the misuse of prescription painkillers, or the use of illicit opioids like heroin, spiked 64 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
The overall rise in the misuse of opioids has spawned an overdose epidemic, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The agency said that opioid overdoses kill 90 people in the United States each day, while opioid poisonings cost the country more than $20 billion annually in emergency department and hospital care.
Although the data shows a significant increase in opioid-related hospitalizations nationwide, the trends vary wildly among states, the analysis showed. Oregon, North Carolina, South Dakota and Washington reported that opioid-related stay rates increased by more than 70 percent between 2009 and 2014; rates in Kansas, Maryland, Illinois and Louisiana actually dipped during the same period.
In addition to providing trends over time, the report, based on the AHRQ Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project’s Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Statewide Inpatient Databases, identifies the states with the highest rates of opioid-related hospital stays in 2014, the most current year available. In that year, Maryland, the District of Columbia, New York, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and West Virginia each reported rates exceeding 300 per 100,000 people — far above the national average of 225 per 100,000. Nationally, opioid-related hospital stay rates have increased from 137 stays per 100,000 people in 2005 to 225 people in 2014, a 64 percent increase.
The Obama Administration had undertaken a series of initiatives to address the opioid crisis. On Dec. 13, the president signed the 21st Century Cures Act, which implements his budget proposal to provide $1 billion in new funding to combat the opioid crisis. Major parts of the administration’s effort also include expanding community-based prevention efforts, expanding access to treatment, supporting the millions of Americans in recovery and pursuing targeted approaches to drug enforcement.
In addition, HHS has initiated several strategies to help Americans struggling with opioid addiction, including the department’s Opioid Initiative, which is focused on improving opioid prescribing practices, expanding access to medication-assisted treatment, and increasing the use of naloxone to reverse opioid overdoses.
Strategies for tackling the opioid epidemic are also featured in the first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, and the Surgeon General’s recent “Turn the Tide” campaign.
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