Home > Nonfatal drug overdoses treated in emergency departments - United States, 2016-2017.

Vivolo-Kantor, Alana M and Hoots, Brooke E and Scholl, Lawrence and Pickens, Cassandra and Roehler, Douglas R and Board, Amy and Mustaquim, Desiree and Smith, Herschel and Snodgrass, Stephanie and Liu, Stephen (2020) Nonfatal drug overdoses treated in emergency departments - United States, 2016-2017. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 69, (13), pp. 371-376. DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6913a3.

External website: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6913a3.ht...

In 2017, drug overdoses caused 70,237 deaths in the United States, a 9.6% rate increase from 2016 (1). Monitoring nonfatal drug overdoses treated in emergency departments (EDs) is also important to inform community prevention and response activities. Analysis of discharge data provides insights into the prevalence and trends of nonfatal drug overdoses, highlighting opportunities for public health action to prevent overdoses. Using discharge data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project's (HCUP) Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS), CDC identified nonfatal overdoses for all drugs, all opioids, nonheroin opioids, heroin, benzodiazepines, and cocaine and examined changes from 2016 to 2017, stratified by drug type and by patient, facility, and visit characteristics. In 2017, the most recent year for which population-level estimates of nonfatal overdoses can be generated, a total of 967,615 nonfatal drug overdoses were treated in EDs, an increase of 4.3% from 2016, which included 305,623 opioid-involved overdoses, a 3.1% increase from 2016. From 2016 to 2017, the nonfatal overdose rates for all drug types increased significantly except for those involving benzodiazepines. These findings highlight the importance of continued surveillance of nonfatal drug overdoses treated in EDs to inform public health actions and, working collaboratively with clinical and public safety partners, to link patients to needed recovery and treatment resources (e.g., medication-assisted treatment).

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances, Opioid, New psychoactive substance, Prescription/Over the counter
Intervention Type
General / Comprehensive, Harm reduction
3 April 2020
Identification #
DOI: 10.15585/mmwr.mm6913a3
Page Range
pp. 371-376
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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