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CDC: 2016 to 2017 Saw Increases in Nonfatal Overdoses

Nonfatal overdose rates significantly increased for all drug types except benzodiazepines

THURSDAY, April 2, 2020 (HealthDay News) — From 2016 to 2017, there were increases in nonfatal drug overdoses, with significant increases for all drug types except those involving benzodiazepines, according to research published in the April 3 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Alana M. Vivolo-Kantor, Ph.D., from the CDC in Atlanta, and colleagues identified nonfatal overdoses for all drugs, all opioids, nonheroin opioids, heroin, benzodiazepines, and cocaine and assessed changes from 2016 to 2017 using discharge data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Emergency Department Sample.

The researchers identified 967,615 nonfatal drug overdoses that were treated in emergency departments in 2017, a 4.3 percent increase from 2016; these included 305,623 opioid-involved overdoses, an increase of 3.1 percent from 2016. The nonfatal overdose rates for all drug types increased significantly from 2016 to 2017 (all opioids, 3.1 percent; nonheroin opioids, 3.6 percent; heroin, 3.6 percent; cocaine, 32.9 percent) except for those involving benzodiazepines (decrease of 5.2 percent). The highest overdose rates for all drugs were seen for women, persons aged 15 to 34 years, persons in the Midwest, and those in micropolitan counties in 2017.

“The increases in nonfatal overdoses suggest that enhanced surveillance, prevention, treatment, and public safety response efforts are needed to curb the increasing trends of nonfatal drug overdoses,” the authors write.

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