This study analyzes trends in hospital emergency room visits and admissions for patients with opioid diagnoses seen at 214 hospitals in Illinois over 42 months. Visits were coded hierarchically for opioid overdose, dependence, abuse, or use. Visit rates per 100,000 were stratified by zip code level of poverty. Regression estimates of the likelihood of inpatient admission and death are presented. There were 239,069 visits accounting for almost $5 billion in total charges and over 710,000 inpatient hospital days with less than a 1% death rate. The Illinois opioid epidemic is concentrated in the poorest areas of the Chicago metropolitan area. There was a sharp gradient in visits rates and deaths rates by poverty level area and more than a fivefold difference in hospital deaths. Effective state policy responses should expand to include decriminalization and proven harm reduction strategies such as medically assisted treatment, access to safe syringes, take home naloxone, and supervised safe consumption facilities.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Behavioral Health Services and Research
|Published - Oct 2021
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health