Opioids (including prescription opioids and heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, more than any year on record. Nearly half of all opioid overdose deaths involve a prescription opioid.
The rate of overdose deaths involving opioids has doubled since 2000, and southern states, including Mississippi, have the most prescriptions per person for opioid painkillers.
Mississippi's opioid epidemic follows national trends. Even as the number of opioid prescriptions dispensed in the state has steadily dropped, deaths due to opioid-related overdoses have continued to increase.
Governor Phil Bryant led state efforts to address the epidemic through an August 2017 executive order that encouraged the use of naloxone by law enforcement officers, and by convening an Opioid and Heroin Study Task Force comprising representatives from state agencies, medical and dental boards, providers, and county representatives.
In 2017, Mississippi providers wrote 92.9 opioid prescriptions for every 100 persons (, compared to the average U.S. rate of 58.7 prescriptions. This was among the top five rates in the United States that year (per the CDC); however, it was also the lowest rate in the state since data became available in 2006.
The hospital cases linked to opioid poisoning in Mississippi climbed by 23.3% between 2016 and 2017. At the same time, the admissions associated with adverse effects increased drastically by 119.3%. Between 2014 and 2016, there was a temporary decrease in admissions for abuse and dependence. Such admissions declined, however, at the expense of an increasing number of diagnoses for unspecified use. Between 2016 and 2017, diagnoses for abuse and dependence increased, again, by 10.3% and 12.0%, respectively.
Opioid overdoses recorded in ED data jumped by 75.5% and ED visits for adverse effects nearly doubled with an increase of 88.5%. Between 2015 and 2016, ED diagnoses for abuse decreased slightly, but went up again after that.
From 2016 through 2017, diagnoses for dependence declined marginally. The lower number of diagnoses for abuse and dependence was due to an increase in unspecified codes for opioid use.
In 2017, the average charge for an opioid-related hospital stay was $40,191 -an increase of 36.8% ($10,808) compared to the average charge in 2014. In 2017, the total amount of charges submitted for opioid-related hospitalizations was $322,408,631, an average annual increase of 72.7% compared to 2014.
In 2017, there were more than 70,200 drug overdose deaths in the U.S.-an age-adjusted rate of 21.7 per 100,000 persons. Among these, 47,600 involved opioids. The sharpest increase occurred among deaths involving Fentanyl and Fentanyl analogs (other synthetic narcotics) with more than 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017.
The age-adjusted rate of drug overdose deaths has not significantly changed in Mississippi over the past several years. In 2017, there were 12.2 drug overdose deaths per 100,000 persons. While the majority of drug overdose deaths in 2017 involved an opioid, overdose deaths involving opioids are not included for the state because the data reported did not meet inclusion criteria.
NAS or neonatal opioid withdrawal syndrome (NOWS) may occur when a pregnant woman uses drugs such as opioids during pregnancy. A recent national study revealed a fivefold increase in the incidence of NAS/NOWS between 2004 and 2014, from 1.5 cases per 1,000 hospital births to 8.0 cases per 1,000 hospital births. State specific data on the rate of babies born with NAS/NOWS in Mississippi is unavailable. However, the assumption is that the state's rate matches that of the nation.
Of the new HIV cases in 2016, 424 occurred in Mississippi. Among males, 3.6 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 4.2 percent of new HIV cases were attributed to opioid abuse.
In 2015, an estimated 9,236 persons were living with a diagnosed HIV infection in Mississippi—a rate of 374 cases per 100,000 persons. Of those, 12.6 percent of male cases were attributed to opioid abuse or male-to-male contact and opioid abuse. Among females, 14.7 percent were living with HIV attributed to opioid abuse.
This data is unavailable for the state of Mississippi. In Mississippi, there are an estimated 23,300 persons living with Hepatitis C (2013-2016 annual average), a rate of 1,030 cases per 100,000 persons.
The number of opioid-related hospitalizations decreased slightly by 2.6% between 2014 and 2015; this decline, however, was temporary as such hospitalizations increased by 16.0% between 2015 and 2016. The reasons for the decline in opioid hospitalizations between 2014 and 2015 are not clear.
It is possible, for instance, that this temporary decrease was due to under-reporting as a result of the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM during the same year. This interpretation is supported by the fact that ED visits, unlike inpatient admissions, demonstrated a steady increase throughout the entire period climbing by18.0%, from 2014 to 2015, and by 18.9%, from 2015 to 2016.
The good news is that there are numerous centers of treatment and rehab available in Mississippi. There are many types of treatment centers such as long term addiction treatment facilities, short term drug abuse treatment, outpatient detoxification programs, outpatient substance abuse treatment services, inpatient drug abuse treatment and others.
There is a wide range of drug and alcohol rehab facilities available. They include individual psychotherapy, dialectical behavior therapy, couple/family therapy, trauma therapy, trauma-related counseling, cognitive/behavior therapy and others, to name a few. If you need rehab in Mississippi, all you need to do is place a call to any of the available rehab centers.
If you are addicted to alcohol or drugs, it is imperative that you look for professional help as soon as you possibly can. However, you might not know where to start or the options that are open to you. Similarly, you may have little to no idea about the differences between the different treatment facilities and the programs they have in store for their patients.
Do you need help finding the right drug or alcohol rehab facility in your area?
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