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Rate of non-fatal overdose encounters by emergency medical services on the rise

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The rate of incidents rose by over 80% according to the CDC

The CDC launches a survey to help develop training programme to address the rise

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported a significant increase in the rate of non-fatal overdose encounters by emergency medical services (EMS) in the United States.

According to the CDC’s data, the rate increased from 98.1 per 10,000 in January 2018 to 179.1 per 10,000 encounters in March 2022. This information was compiled using data from 491 counties from 21 states.

To address this growing concern, the Center for Health, Work and Environment (CHWE) at the Colorado School of Public Health has taken the initiative to develop and evaluate an educational campaign for first responders. The program will be designed to provide education related to occupational exposures to illicit drugs, with an overall goal of reducing occupational exposures.

As part of this effort, first responders are being asked to complete a survey to help develop the training. The survey takes 5-10 minutes to complete and asks first responders about their experiences on the job involving potential or actual opioid exposures, how they are trained, and how they prefer to receive educational information. All responses are anonymous and no personally identifying information is collected.

CHWE is working on this project with support from an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The goal of this initiative is to help first responders improve their knowledge and abilities around responding to calls that involve potential or actual illicit drug exposures.

For more information, questions about this project can be emailed to Carol Brown at the CHWE [email protected].

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