ER Visits For Painkillers Surge 99 Percent As Overdoses Spike Across US  


Hospitalizations for opioid related conditions increased by 64 percent between 2005 and 2014



The rate of emergency room visits is soaring for opioid related conditions, increasing by 99 percent between 2005 and 2014, according to government data released Tuesday.

The increases are seen across all ages, genders and races, with the exception of Asian Americans. Data from 2014, the most recent available from all 50 states and Washington, D.C., reveals there were 1.27 million emergency room and inpatient hospital trips related to opioids. The report released Tuesday by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) shows Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 suffer the most from opioid abuse, reports The Washington Post.

Overall, hospitalizations for opioid related conditions increased by 64 percent between 2005 and 2014. Maryland currently has the highest rate of inpatient and emergency room stays of any state in the U.S., according to the report.

“We see overdoses in all ethnic groups, in all Zip codes,” Leana Wen, the Baltimore health commissioner, told The Washington Post. “We are not anywhere close to getting everyone treatment at the time that they are requesting for help.

Maryland suffered a 38-fold increase in deaths related to fentanyl over the past decade, according to data from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Fentanyl, a painkiller roughly 30 to 50 times stronger than heroin, is largely blamed as the primary driver of the opioid epidemic, which claimed more than 33,000 lives in 2015.

The federal report is in line with a recent analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention by The Washington Post showing the death rate for middle-aged Americans rose 8 percent in 2015.

The death rate climbed 12 percent between 2010 and 2015 for white Americans in their prime years. Black Americans between the ages of 25 and 44 experienced a 4 percent increase in their death rate, while American Indians saw an 18 percent increase and Hispanics a 7 percent increase. The increase for Asian Americans was not statistically significant.

More than two million Americans have some sort of physical dependence on opioids, and nearly 100 million Americans have a prescription for the drugs. Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under 50.

The New York Times recently culled through data from state health departments and county medical examiners and coroners, predicting there were between 59,000 and 65,000 drug deaths in 2016.



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