New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show Indiana has a significant increase in overdoses cases.
The report examines the most recent data on overdoses at emergency departments. Indiana experienced a 35 percent increase in visits a trend that Indianapolis EMS medical director Dan O’Donnell says isn’t surprising.
“We said years ago when this started, this is just the proverbial tip of the iceberg and it’s going to get worse before it gets better,” O’Donnell says, “and that’s what we’re seeing.”
Midwest states saw the largest increase in ER overdose visits. O’Donnell says it’s not overdoses, it’s the number of people addicted to opiates that’s increasing.
“And when you have an opioid addiction this is the cycle of it, even when people are trying to get into recovery,” he says.
O’Donnell works with Eskenazi Hospital on a program called Project Point that connects people who have just overdosed with treatment options while they’re in the hospital. He says an overdose can be an opportunity.
“Get creative on how we approach it, and programs like Point, or other ED or public health interventions need to start happening because the problem is so big,” says O’Donnell.
Indianapolis EMS has used nearly 350 doses of the overdose reversal drug naloxone so far this year.