“Emergency department (ED) visits for opioid overdoses rose 30% in all parts of the US from July 2016 through September 2017,” the CDC said in a press release on Tuesday.
The largest increase was recorded in the Midwestern US, which saw a 70 percent surge in the number of emergency room visits related to opioid overdoses, the CDC said. Meanwhile, overdoses in large cities rose by 54 percent in 16 states, it added.
The likelihood of repeated overdoses could be reduced through medication-assisted treatment, it added.
Acting CDC Director Anne Schuchat urged government officials to pay closer attention to this “complex epidemic” situation. “We don’t have to wait until it’s too late,” she said at a press briefing.
The CDC said coordinated efforts among various institutions — including hospitals, local health departments, health care providers, community organizations and law enforcement officers — could help prevent opioid overdoses and deaths.