New Drug Abuse Warning Network (Dawn) Report Issued on Drug-Related Emergency Department Visits

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
Illicit Drugs 991,640 1,171,024 NC 378.5
Cocaine NA 488,101 NA 157.8
Heroin NA 224,706 NA 72.6
Marijuana 281,619 461,028 64 149.0
Pharmaceuticals 626,472 1,345,645 115 434.9
Anti-anxiety and Insomnia Drugs 210,711 472,769 124 152.8
Benzodiazepines 170,471 408,021 139 131.9
Antidepressants NA 105,229 NA 34.0
Pain Relievers 282.275 659, 969 134 213.3
Narcotic Pain Relievers 166,338 425,247 156 137.4
Hydrocodone Products 46,536 115,739 149 37.4
Oxycodone Products 51,418 182,748 255 59.1

 
* 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

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