Opioid overdoses spiked 30 percent in one year

  • Opioid overdoses spiked 30 percent in one year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • The CDC saw increases in emergency department visits for opioid overdoses across men, women and all age groups and regions.
  • Heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have fueled an epidemic that killed 63,000 people in 2016 and cut the U.S. life expectancy for the second year in a row.
Firefighters help an overdose victim on July 14, 2017 in Rockford, Illinois.
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Firefighters help an overdose victim on July 14, 2017 in Rockford, Illinois.

Opioid overdoses spiked 30 percent in one year, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The agency found that emergency departments across the country continued to see more people overdosing on opioids between July 2016 and September 2017. They saw increases in men, women, across all age groups and regions.

Heroin and synthetic opioids like fentanyl have fueled an epidemic that killed 63,000 people in 2016 and cut the U.S. life expectancy for the second year in a row. The report released Tuesday suggests what the CDC is calling a "fast-moving" epidemic appears to show no signs of slowing down.

"Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses," said CDC Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat. "This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States."

All five regions in the U.S. experienced increases in opioid overdoses. The Midwest saw the largest change, with the rate surging 70 percent. Wisconsin experienced a dizzying 109 percent spike, while Missouri reported a 21 percent bump.

Opioid overdoses increased 40 percent in the West, 21 percent in the Northeast, 20 percent in the Southwest and 14 percent in the Southeast.

The epidemic is affecting men and women, with rates increasing 30 percent and 24 percent, respectively. People of different age groups also saw similar spikes.