The staggering increase in ED visits and admissions related to opioids

New data also shows a steady increase in overdose-related deaths since 2000

The rates of opioid-related hospital admissions and ED visits rose by 64 and 99.4 percent, respectively, between 2005 and 2014, according to data released Thursday by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

How physicians can help curb the opioid epidemic

The data are based on information from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2005-2014 National Inpatient Sample, 2005-2014 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample, 2009-2014 State Inpatient Databases, and 2009-2014 State Emergency Department Databases.

Opioid-related hospital admissions

According to the data, the national average rate of opioid-related hospitalizations was 225 per 100,000 people in 2014, compared with 137 per 100,000 people in 2005.

The data showed variations in opioid-related hospitalization rates by state. For instance, Maryland had the highest rate of opioid-related hospitalizations, at 362.1 per 100,000 people in 2014, while Iowa had the lowest rate, at 44.2 per 100,000 people in 2014. Oregon experienced the largest rate increase in opioid-related hospitalizations from 2009 to 2014, at 89 percent.

Investigation: Even as opioid epidemic raged, DEA slowed enforcement actions

Opioid-related ED visits

According to the data, the national average rate of opioid-related ED visits rose from 89.1 per 100,000 people in 2005 to 177.7 per 100,000 people in 2014.

The data showed opioid-related ED visit rates also varied by state. Massachusetts had the largest rate, at 441.6 visits per 100,000 people in 2014, while Iowa had the lowest rate, at 31.1 visits per 100,000 people in 2014. Ohio experienced the largest rate increase in opioid-related ED visits from 2009 to 2014, at 119.1 percent.

Opioid-related deaths

The data also showed the rate of opioid-related overdose deaths increased by 200 percent between 2000 and 2014. According to the data, "Between 2013 and 2014 alone, the rate of opioid overdose deaths increased 14 percent, from 7.9 to 9.0 per 100,000" people.

AHRQ in the data brief said the U.S. opioid misuse epidemic "has reached alarming levels in many parts of the United States, affecting the lives of thousands of individuals and families" (Mangan, CNBC, 12/15; Preidt, HealthDay, 12/15; Weiss et al., AHRQ data brief, December 2016).

6 ways hospitals can improve quality and safety with pharmacists

From improving medication adherence to reducing hospital-acquired infections, pharmacists can play a significant role in critical organizational goals.

Our infographic outlines six pharmacist-led practices that can help improve patient outcomes and reduce overall health care spending. Download it now to get details about each practice, examples of how your peers put them into action, and the resulting impact on quality, safety, and cost reduction.

Download the infographic


Next in the Daily Briefing

Weekly review: Memory lapses are normal. But when should you worry?

Read now