Sharp increase in deaths of people hospitalized after opioid administration



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MONDAY, Dec. 4, 2017 (HealthDay News) – The death rate has quadrupled among people whose opioid use takes them to a hospital, a new US study finds. UU

More opioid users are being sent to the hospital because of a life-threatening overdose than for the treatment of drug addiction, the researchers noted.

About 2 percent of people hospitalized for opioid use died in 2014, compared to 0.4 percent before 2000, the new badysis revealed.

The same badysis showed that hospitalizations for opiate or heroin poisoning have increased in recent years, even when the rate of people seeking treatment for opiate addiction in a hospital has decreased, said lead researcher Dr. Zirui Song. He is an badistant professor of health care policy at the Harvard Medical School.

Prior to the turn of the century, the majority of opiate-related hospitalizations were for the treatment of opioid dependence and abuse. The most serious condition of drug overdose now has become the main cause of hospital admissions driven by opiates, said Song.

"It can be seen that the primary diagnoses due to dependence or abuse decrease gradually, while the primary diagnoses of opiates and heroin poisoning are constantly increasing," he said.

Patients admitted for opioid or heroin overdoses are also more likely to be white, middle-aged, from a low-income area or receive treatment for a disability, according to Song's badysis of the basis of hospital data largest in the country.

A health policy expert found the findings troubling.

"The opioid crisis has trapped people who traditionally have not been involved in heroin crisis in the history of our country," said Emily Feinstein, director of health policies and laws at the National Center on Addiction and Abuse. Substances

"Studies have been telling us that white middle-aged Americans die earlier," Feinstein added. "We think this is a lot because of substance abuse, and this study confirms that, and we see that opiate abuse drives that trend in part."

It is estimated that 91 Americans die every day from an overdose of opioids, according to the US Centers. UU for the control and prevention of diseases. More than 64,000 overdose deaths occurred in 2016, including more than 15,000 heroin deaths and more than 20,000 due to synthetic opioids.

Song's observations confirm what experts suspected about the progression of the opiate epidemic in the United States, which was triggered by an increased number of Americans getting access and becoming addicted to prescription painkillers, Feinstein said.

"We know what causes the misuse of prescription opioids, but we also know that this is no longer causing the problem," Feinstein said. [19659002] The initial response to the opiate epidemic restricted access to prescription drugs, but did not address the underlying problem of drug addiction, Feinstein explained.

Drug users are probably suffering from overdose deaths more often because they switched from prescription painkillers to the more potent and more readily obtainable opioids such as heroin and fentanyl, Feinstein and Song said.

"Heroin and especially fentanyl, which is an even stronger form of opioid, present greater risks of overdose than conventional opioid pills," Song said.

Fentanyl can be 50 to 100 times more potent than heroin, and knowledge of users is often cut off in street heroin or ill pain pills, said Dr. Tim Brennan, deputy physician at The Addiction Institute. at the Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai in New York City.

"Many more people enter the hospital because they have been sick, accidentally poisoned by their drug of choice," Brennan said. "He thinks he's buying heroin, but more and more heroin is adulterated by fentanyl, which makes it much more dangerous, not only are there more people who use this product than ever, but the product is more dangerous than ever." [19659002] However, another explanation is possible. More people may be receiving community treatment for drug addiction, which means they are more likely to end up hospitalized for an overdose, Song said.

"If you badume for a moment that less serious cases can be treated immediately in the community, in the home or on the street, on average, people who end up in the hospital can, on average, be sicker" said Song.

The badysis can not explain to people who may be dying of overdose in the community, Song added.

Ultimately, these figures show that the treatment of addiction still lacks sufficient funds, Feinstein said.

"We need immediate, far-reaching investments in good treatment.When people experience an overdose, they should now go into treatment instead of returning to the community as if they did not have a fatal disease," Feinstein said. "Not enough is done, we could prevent these deaths."

The study was published in the December issue of Health Affairs .

More information

For more on the opioid epidemic, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

SOURCES: Zirui Song, MD, Ph.D., badistant professor, health care policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston; Emily Feinstein, J.D., director, law and health policy, National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse; Tim Brennan, M.D., badistant physician, The Addiction Institute, Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York; December 2017, Health Matters

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