Healthcare News & Insights

Opiates at root of a run on emergency room beds

Feel like you’ve been seeing a flood of drug abusers in your Emergency Department?  You’re probably right.

Opiate use as a cause of Emergency Department (ED) visits is up dramatically over the past few years, according to a new study in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

The study found that between 2004 and 2008, ED visits related to opioid abuse were up 111%. The biggest increases were seen in misuse of:

  • oxycodone, up 152%
  • hydrocodone, up 123%, and
  • methadone, up 73%.

The study was conducted by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, in conjunction with the CDC.

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