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Opioid-Related Hospitalizations Up Sharply in the United States

Opioid-Related Hospitalizations Up Sharply in the United States
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FRIDAY, Dec. 16, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Hospital admissions related to overdoses from heroin and other opioids rose 64 percent in the United States between 2005 and 2014, according to a report from the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

As misuse of prescription and street opioids climbed nationwide, related hospital stays rose from 137 per 100,000 people to 225 per 100,000 in that decade, researchers found. However, there was wide variation between states. States where overdoses required at least 70 percent more hospital beds between 2009 and 2014 were North Carolina, Oregon, South Dakota, and Washington. In 2014, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, and West Virginia each reported rates above 300 per 100,000 people — far above the national average.

“These new data provide vital insights into the trends that are shaping one of the nation’s most pressing health challenges,” AHRQ director Andy Bindman, M.D., said in an agency news release. “With updated information about state and regional variations in opioid-related hospital care, we’re increasing our potential to develop effective strategies to tackle the crisis.”

“It’s our hope that public health leaders, policymakers, and others will use [these statistics] to further target and evaluate their efforts to confront the crisis,” Bindman said.

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