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Alcohol remains the most prominent substance linked to hospitalization

March 7, 2018
by Gary A. Enos, Editor
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Amid the gravity of the opioid crisis, alcohol remains the substance most commonly associated with a hospitalization related to substance use. Data released last week by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) offered the first county-level comparisons of hospitalization rates for substance use, showing that opioids and stimulants rank just behind alcohol in hospitalizations in most communities.

Using 2014 data provided by 32 states, AHRQ looked at hospitalization rates for a variety of substances, as well as for drug-induced mental health disorders. The numbers show a wide variation in county-level hospitalization rates for substances, with Owsley County, Ky., having the highest rate among participating communities (3,525 hospital stays per 100,000 population) and Ringgold County, Iowa the lowest (220 stays per 100,000).

AHRQ announced that it has updated its interactive online national map that provides county-specific statistics on opioid-related hospitalizations.

The agency stated that U.S. hospitals in 2014 reported more than 3 million admissions related to misuse of substances, at an estimated cost of $38 billion. The average length of stay for these patients was six days.

 

 

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