Schuchat said the United States is now seeing its highest drug overdose death rates ever.

Now, their fast tracking method has revealed that the crisis is far from over.


Public health experts say use of the overdose antidote Naloxone, coupled with a decline in opioid prescriptions may be working.

But the rates varied between regions and states. But Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all saw increases of 50 percent or more in opioid overdose emergency visits.

The CDC also used looked at a second data set, from the National Syndromic Surveillance Program (NSSP) Biosense platform.

Schuchat called the report "very, very concerning" and said it served as a "wake-up call about the need to improve what happens when a patient leaves the emergency department".

STEIN: But some parts of the country are being hit harder than others. The largest increases were in Wisconsin (109 percent) and DE (104 percent). Overdoses are often associated with rural America but metropolitan areas with 1 million or more people saw the steepest increase, at 54%.


The centers for disease control says in a 15-month period, there were more than 142,000 suspected overdoses-an increase of 30%.

"The increases occurred in most demographic groups and USA regions and suggest a worsening of the epidemic into late 2017 in several states, possibly related to the wide variation in the availability and potency of illicit drug products", the report said.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses", said Dr. Anne Schuchat, acting director of the CDC.

In light of its most recent, jarring findings, the CDC's new report included suggestions of actions that everyone - from individuals to hospitals, health departments and governments - can do to combat the crisis.

Timely and coordinated response efforts can also better prevent more opioid overdoses in the community.


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