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Opioid overdoses in ERs up 30 percent as crisis worsens

NEW YORK (AP) — Emergency rooms saw a big jump in overdoses from opioids last year — the latest evidence the nation's drug crisis is getting worse.

A government report released Tuesday shows overdoses from opioids increased 30 percent late last summer, compared to the same three-month period in 2016. The biggest jumps were in the Midwest and in cities, but increases occurred nationwide. Wisconsin saw a 109% increase. 

The report did not differentiate between prescription pain pills, heroin, fentanyl and other opioids.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently started using a new system to track ER overdoses and found the rate of opioid overdoses rose from 14 to 18 per 100,000 ER visits over a year.

Almost all those overdoses were not fatal. Opioids were involved in two-thirds of all overdose deaths in 2016.

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