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A key point from the CDC is that the epidemic has shifted into a new phase.

Emergency rooms around the country saw a spike in patients overdosing on opioids past year, according to data collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and released Tuesday.

Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses are skyrocketing across the country. "The fast-moving opioid overdose epidemic continues and is accelerating". They were up about 30 percent overall, with the largest increases mainly in western states.

"We're now seeing the highest overdose death rates ever recorded in the United States". "It is rare for a person to die due to the accidental overdose of a single drug", East Baton Rouge Parish's Coroner William "Beau" Clark wrote in his report. "It may be much more awful", Schuchat says. It's not that more people are abusing drugs, it's the kind of drugs they're using.

The error margin is tiny. "It is anxious that 20 years into this epidemic, it is as yet deteriorating".

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"It's kind of like pointing to a burning building and saying, 'Oh, there's a fire there".

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The CDC says the figures show the situation "continuing to worsen". The drug-related deaths reported were not just related to prescription or illicit opioids.

Comparing the third quarter of 2016 to the third quarter of 2017, researchers found a 29.7 percent jump in ER visits due to opioids.

The CDC report covers 16 states that received Enhanced State Opioid Overdose Surveillance funding, grants meant to increase the timeliness of opioid overdose reporting and provide more comprehensive data on the risk factors associated. There was a 32 percent increase among those 55 and older. In Wisconsin and DE, the rate of visits more than doubled. Overdoses may have actually slightly decreased in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.

A few areas, including Kentucky, noted decreased overdoses. "The quantity of Americans encountering opioid overdoses is as yet expanding". Belated efforts to rein in distribution fueled a resurgence of heroin and the emergence of a deadly, black market version of the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

The Chicago Tribune reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday released state emergency room data. NPR health correspondent Rob Stein has the details.

STEIN: That's Anne Schuchat, the CDC's acting director. Schuchat called these services "essential hubs" in stemming the opioid crisis. Among men, it was 30 percent.

STEIN: The jump in opioid overdoses is hitting coast to coast, from DE to California.

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Overdoses increased in all five regions of the USA, and in every demographic.

SCHUCHAT: The Midwestern region was most hard hit with an increase of 70 percent.

Pharmacies in the state dispensed 4.1 million opioid prescriptions in 2017, down 20 percent from 5.1 million in 2015, according a report last week from the Controlled Substances Board. In Wisconsin, overdoses are up a 109 percent.

Lynch says its plays out that way at all local ER's like ECMC, Millard Fillmore Suburban, and other hospitals covered by him and his colleagues at UB MD Emergency Medical group. "So we take the time that we have with those patients very seriously and we try to maximize what we can for them both in the Emergency Department and how we hook them up with treatment". President Trump recently declared the epidemic a national emergency.

The study comes just a week after the White House held a week-long opioid summit.

KOLODNY: And yet nothing has happened.

"The science is clear - addiction is a chronic disease and not a moral failing", he said. Jessica Hulsey Nickel heads the Addiction Policy Forum.

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