The past few years have recorded an unprecedented rise in opioid overdose, hospitalizations and fatalities in the United States, showing the extent of the opioid epidemic in the country. Every day, thousands of people are admitted into emergency care in U.S. hospitals for opioid-related problems. As per the latest data released in June 2017 by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) in Maryland, nearly 1.3 million Americans flooded hospitals in just one single year whether in emergency rooms or for an inpatient stay for opioid-related issues in 2014.
The data is the latest available for every state including the District of Columbia. It reflects a 64 percent upsurge for inpatient care with emergency room treatment leapfrogging by 99 percent as compared to the numbers in 2005. The authorities estimate that the figures will only go up if the opioid crisis continues unbridled. In point of fact, the number of women being admitted to a hospital for inpatient treatment for opioid-induced causes rivals that of men. The report depicts that there was a significant gap between women and men admitted to hospitals in 2005, which has now narrowed down almost to a naught.
According to the report, Maryland, already reeling under the burden of rampant overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids, tops the list of most affected states with the highest admits for inpatient care. In order to effectively respond to the crisis in the state that rose from the frenzied use of synthetic opioid fentanyl (often mixed with heroin or cocaine to enhance the potency to a dangerous level), Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency this year.
Since 2010, opioid-related deaths in Maryland almost quadrupled as per a state report released this month. Fentanyl caused the maximum damage resulting in a 38-fold rise in the death rates in the last decade. Baltimore reported 694 deaths from drug and alcohol-related intoxication in 2016, an increase from 2015 when 393 people reportedly died due to overdoses. The overdose trend was observed across all demographics.
If Maryland has taken the maximum beating from an opioid lashing, two other states that closely followed suit include Massachusetts and District of Columbia. The AHRQ’s data-driven report, however, did not disclose the number of times the patients re-entered hospitals in a single year, nor did it speculate why some states have higher incidences of hospital visits and admissions.
“Our data tell us what is going on. They tell us what the facts are. But they don’t give us the underlying reasons for what we’re seeing here,” says report co-author Anne Elixhauser, a senior research scientist at AHRQ.
One of the ways to combat this proliferating opioid crisis is making naloxone highly accessible to people. This overdose-reversal medication, available over the counter at pharmacies can save millions of lives getting affected from opioid overdoses in the country. Other states should take a cue from Maryland, which has a stockpile of roughly 4,000 doses, albeit insufficient.
Whether it is an opioid addiction or any substance use disorder, timely treatment is the only solution for a prospective life ahead. Chronic addictions often turn severe and become fatal. Procrastinating treatment will make the addiction problem more complicated eliciting harsher withdrawals during detoxification.
Hence, if you or a loved one in the family is grappling with an addiction to any substance, seek drug rehab help from a health expert today. Call our 24/7 Recovery Helpline for Drug and Alcohol Addiction at 855-441-4405 or chat online with our representatives for more information on comprehensive treatment programs. Our 24-hour drug helpline can be approached for any queries related to rehab centers in your vicinity.