Over 1.2 million people were admitted to hospitals because of opioids last year

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The latest figures show that opioid addiction and overdose rates are skyrocketing across the nation, and with that comes a new strain on our healthcare system. This was highlighted in a new report published this week stating that opioids caused over 1.27 million emergency room visits or inpatient stays in a single year.

The new numbers are based on data collected from every state and the District of Columbia in 2016. According to their findings, inpatient care associated with opioid-related issues increased 64%, while emergency room treatment for opioids increased 99% compared to figures from 2005.

It is believed the rates will have only grown since the data was collected.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who compiled the report, say Maryland leads the nation in inpatient care needs. The state has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic, and the recent spread of fentanyl has made matters much worse. Earlier this year, Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency to address the crisis.

Compared to data from 2009, Georgia saw the highest increase in opioid-related inpatient stays. The state saw hospital stays increase 100%, compared to an average of 24% across the country in the same time period.

Only Louisiana, Kansas, Maryland, and Illinois saw decreases in inpatient stays related to opioids during this time.

The report also highlighted striking discrepancies across gender lines when it comes to opioid treatment.

In most states, women were significantly more likely to be admitted to a hospital for opioid-related issues. For example, Montana reported 264 inpatient stays for 100,000 women, compared to 163 stays per 100,000 men.

This phenomenon was widespread across the map, but there were a few notable exceptions. In New York, men were almost twice as likely to be admitted to a hospital for opioids compared to women.

The report may help better identify those at high-risk for opioid-related health issues, but it also makes it frighteningly clear just how quickly the opioid epidemic is growing. No matter what age group you look at, inpatient stays and ER visits are rising quickly – particularly among those between the ages of 25-44.

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