FRIDAY, July 30, 2021 (HealthDay Information) — Opioid overdose-related visits to U.S. emergency departments rose by practically one-third throughout the COVID-19 pandemic final 12 months.
That is the important thing discovering in a brand new evaluation of knowledge from 25 emergency departments in Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, North Carolina, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
“COVID-19, and the disruptions in each a part of our social and work lives, made this case even more durable by growing the chance of opioid misuse and relapse as a result of individuals have been separated from their social assist and regular routines,” mentioned senior examine creator Molly Jeffery, a researcher on the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The examine revealed that opioid overdose-related emergency division visits rose 28.5% final 12 months, in comparison with 2018 and 2019. The uncooked numbers within the examine have been three,486 in 2020; three,285 in 2019; and three,020 in 2018.
The researchers tied opioid overdoses to at least one in each 313 ER visits final 12 months, in contrast with one in 400 within the earlier two years.
Whereas ER visits associated to opioid overdoses rose 10.5% final 12 months, total ER visits dropped 14%, in response to findings revealed within the Annals of Emergency Medication, and introduced not too long ago on the AcademyHealth annual analysis assembly.
Preliminary knowledge not too long ago launched by the U.S. Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention present greater than 93,000 opioid overdose deaths in 2020 — up 29.four% from 2019 and essentially the most ever recorded in a 12-month interval in the USA.
“Whereas establishments throughout the U.S. are keenly conscious that opioid misuse is a significant well being concern, this exhibits that there’s extra work to be completed, and it gives a possibility for establishments and policymakers to increase evidence-based remedies and assets,” Jeffrey mentioned in a clinic information launch.
Greater than 70% of drug overdose deaths in 2019 concerned opioids, in response to the CDC, however tendencies have been leveling off earlier than the coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, knowledge reveal a big reversal in that development for the reason that begin of the pandemic.
Precise opioid overdose charges could also be increased than the examine suggests, as a result of the quantity of people that overdose however do not go to the emergency division is probably going on the rise, the researchers famous.
In response to the surge, Jeffrey mentioned opioid habit remedies similar to buprenorphine and methadone, and the opioid overdose reversal drug naloxone have to be extra accessible.
She additionally famous that telehealth entry for psychiatric care elevated throughout the pandemic and has remained excessive.
“We predict this can be an essential option to enhance the accessibility of look after many individuals with opioid misuse dysfunction or habit,” Jeffery mentioned.
The U.S. Nationwide Institute on Drug Abuse has extra in regards to the opioid crisis.
SOURCE: Mayo Clinic, information launch, July 28, 2021