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But it could also be a statistical anomaly given that the data was from just 16 states. It recorded 142,000 overdoses in U.S. hospital emergency departments between July 2016 and September 2017. Nearly all those overdoses were not fatal.

According to Politifact, more than 64,000 people died in the USA in 2016 from drug overdoses - the majority of which were linked to opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin.

But Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin all saw increases of 50 percent or more in opioid overdose emergency visits. That's higher than in previous years, but not by much.

More recent CDC data shows overdose deaths rose 14 percent from July 2016 to July 2017, but that data doesn't distinguish opioids from other drugs.

In Baton Rouge, overdose death rates also grew from 2016 to 2017.

That's in line with early overdose death reports from those states, officials said.

However, hospital visits in cities of all types increased steadily in each quarter by 51 percent.

The CDC defines opioids as prescription pain medications, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a synthetic opioid pain reliever. In Kentucky, which has been hit especially hard by the opioid abuse epidemic, the rate dropped 15 percent, which could reflect fluctuations in drug supply, Schuchat said.

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'Coordinated action between [emergency rooms], health departments, mental health and treatment providers, community-based organizations, and law enforcement can prevent opioid overdose and death, ' its new report said. The crisis unfolded in the mid-90s when the U.S. pharmaceutical industry began marketing legal narcotics, particularly OxyContin, to treat everyday pain.

Promoting opioid prevention and treatment education. What resulted was a commercial triumph and a public health tragedy.

Asked specifically about the rise in urban opioid overdoses, Schuchat said they suspect a "change in the toxicity" of the drugs on the street.

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Officials emphasized there was significant variation between jurisdictions. "But we have to be cautious in the areas that have reported decreases". They said it was unclear if decreases were persistent or anomalies.

Data from hospital emergency departments show a big increase in drug overdoses across the country. Researchers said overdose rates in that system increased about 30% in all regions and most states.

State and county health departments play a key role in combating the opioid epidemic by providing naloxone to the public and first responders, increasing access to addiction treatment, and supporting harm reduction programs for injection users, according to the report. And just last week, he held a high-profile summit on the epidemic at the White House. Last week, Donald Trump expressed a desire to "sue" opioid manufacturers, and the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, announced the justice department's support of local lawsuits.

Today - two new reports about opioids.


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