GASTONIA, N.C. -- New numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed the opioid crisis continues to worsen in the Carolinas and throughout the country.
According to the CDC, the number of people rushed to the hospital after an opioid overdose jumped 30 percent nationwide between July 2016 and September 2017. North Carolina saw a 31 percent spike during the same time period.
According to CaroMont Health in Gastonia, the rate of emergency room visits for opioid-related issues in Gaston County is twice the state average. In Charlotte, Novant Health Presbyterian's Dr. Jim Perri said he and his co-workers are also swamped with patients.
"It really does not discriminate across social class, race, black, white or Hispanic," Dr. Perri said.
United States Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams said his family has been affected by the opioid crisis.
"My younger brother has struggled with addiction for decades," Dr. Adams said. "I often contemplate on the fact that it could have been me."
He and other public health leaders hope the new numbers will spur more money and more action to fix the nation's opioid crisis.