The Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) issued a report July 2 on drug-related emergency room (ER) visits in 2010. There were 4.0 million drug-related ED visits made by patients aged 21 or older in 2010. Of these visits, 1.9 million, 47.2 percent, involved drug misuse or abuse.
The total number of drug-related ED visits increased 94 percent from 2004 (2.5 million visits) to 2010 (4.9 million visits).
- ED visits involving misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals increased 115 percent between 2004 and 2010.
- ED visits involving misuse or abuse of narcotic pain relievers increased 156 percent between 2004 and 2010.
- ED visits involving misuse or abuse of oxycodone products increased 255 percent between 2004 and 2010.
- ED visits involving misuse or abuse of benzodiazepines increased 139 percent between 2004 and 2010.
|DAWN Report: Misused or Abused Drugs Most Commonly Involved in Emergency Department (ED) Visits:
2004 to 2010
|Drug||2004 Number of ED Visits||2010 Number of ED Visits||% Change, 2004 to 2010||2010 ED Visits per 100,000 Population
|Alcohol – In Combination with Other Drugs||NA||564,796||NA||182.5|
|Alcohol – Underage Drinking**||NA||189,060||NA||215.4|
|Anti-anxiety and Insomnia Drugs||210,711||472,769||124||152.8|
|Pain Relievers||282.275||659, 969||134||213.3|
|Narcotic Pain Relievers||166,338||425,247||156||137.4|
* Because a visit may involve multiple drugs, the sum of visits by drug will be greater than the total.
**Underage drinking includes both use of alcohol in combination with other drugs and use of alcohol only for patients aged 20 or younger.
The 8-page report can be accessed at: http://www.samhsa.gov/data/2k12/DAWN096/SR096EDHighlights2010.pdf
Source: 2010 SAMHSA Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN) – July 2, 2012