August 9, 2018
The report, published in today’s CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, states the rate of EMS naloxone administration events increased by 75.1 percent from 2012 to 2016. That mirrors the nearly 80 percent increase in opioid overdose deaths in the U.S. during the same time.
“We saw a consistent increase in events across all age groups over the five years. We also found evidence that people aged 25-34 years are most affected. They had the highest amount of both naloxone administrations by EMS and overdose deaths,” said Rebecca Cash, a research fellow at the National Registry and a doctoral student in The Ohio State University College of Public Health.
“Beyond the actual increase in opioid overdoses, this study suggests that EMS providers are increasingly more likely to treat with naloxone in borderline cases,” Cash said.
“While it’s difficult to tell from the data, it’s possible this is due to increased efforts to control misuse of prescription opioid pain relievers. At the same time, use of illegal opioids such as heroin and illicitly manufactured fentanyl has increased and is associated with younger age groups,” said Dr. Ashish Panchal, emergency medicine expert at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center and research director with the National Registry.
“This report can help EMS, health care organizations and communities understand the burden of injury in the opioid overdose epidemic. They can benchmark performance over time and compare with national averages,” Panchal said. “This data can also assist in the development of more timely emergency response interventions, more naloxone administrations in suspected drug overdoses and referral to drug treatment and care coordination.”
Media Contact: Marti Leitch, Wexner Medical Center Media Relations, 614-293-3737, Marti.Leitch@osumc.edu