Opioid overdoes in US increased by 30% in only 14 months

Officials said the "fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age"

Opioid overdoes in US increased by 30% in only 14 months

Piles of trash, including thousands of syringes and empty heroin bags. File photo by: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

Opioid overdoses in the US increased by more than 30% in a 14 month period, according to health officials.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report brings together data from emergency departments in 45 states across the US.

From July 2016 through September 2017, opioid overdoes "increased for men and women, all age groups, and all regions".

The rate varied by state, with rural/urban differences, with eight states reporting increases of 25% or greater in the rate of opioid overdose ED visits.

The CDC says the figures show the situation 'continuing to worsen'.

The reported overdoes were not all fatal, and health officials say the ED data can act as an "early warning system for health departments to identify increases in opioid overdoses more quickly and coordinate response efforts."

CDC Acting Director Anne Schuchat said: “Long before we receive data from death certificates, emergency department data can point to alarming increases in opioid overdoses.

"This fast-moving epidemic affects both men and women, and people of every age. It does not respect state or county lines and is still increasing in every region in the United States.”

Last year, President Trump declared the US opioid crisis as a 'national public health emergency' - although US media outlets reported that the declaration fell short of a full national emergency and the funding that would come with it.

According to Politifact, more than 64,000 people died in the US in 2016 from drug overdoses - the majority of which were linked to opioids such as oxycodone, fentanyl and heroin.