Hospitalizations for Opioid-Related Overdoses in PA Increased Again in 2017
According to a report released June 13th by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council, hospital admissions for opioid overdoses in 2016 increased to 3,500, up 17% from 3,342 the year before.
The data analyzed in the report included both heroin/fentanyl and prescription painkillers. Although there was a minor drop in opioid medication overdoses, heroin overdoses climbed during the same period which was reflected in the total increase.
Heroin overdoses, which often include fentanyl, were up two-thirds between 2014-2016 and cost Medicaid, Medicare, and private insurance agencies in Pennsylvania tens of millions.
In 2017, there were more than 1,750 hospital admissions for heroin overdoses in the state, an increase of 13% from 2016. The good news is this: that is a significantly lower annual growth rate from 2011-2016 (24%). Unfortunately, one in ten of those admissions resulted in death and an average age of 33.
Hospitalizations for overdoses related to prescription opioid in 2017 totaled around 1700 as well, reflecting a 2% decrease from 2016. Among these overdoses, 1 in 20 (5%) were fatal, up from 2.9 percent in 2016.The average age was 53.
All in all, there were more than 13,600 days of hospitalizations attributed to opioid overdoses.
PHC4 Executive Director Joe Martin:
About the Epidemic
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, there were more than 64,000 deaths related to overdoses caused by substance use, including both alcohol and drugs. Of those, over 42,000 were related to prescription painkillers or illicit opioids such as heroin and fentanyl.
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~ Nathalee G. Serrels, M.A., Psychology,