Kentucky hospitals say drug overdoses constrain resources

(Information from: Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer,

OWENSBORO, Ky. (AP) — Amid the opioid epidemic in Kentucky, hospitals say overdoses have strained emergency rooms.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports that Kentucky hospital officials say drug overdose cases require intervention and critical care, tying up resources. According to the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, there were 1,248 overdose deaths in Kentucky in 2015, with at least 62 percent of cases attributed to opioid abuse.

The opioid crisis hasn’t hit western Kentucky’s Daviess County — where methamphetamine is still the dominant street drug — as hard as the rest of the state. Dr. Charles Hobelmann, an emergency department physician at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, says the frequency of opioid overdoses is increasing. He says opioids cause more medical problems and require more intervention and amphetamine usage, which causes agitation.


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