Most ED Super Users Addicted to Drugs, Study Finds


Super-users, or patients who visit an emergency department more than 10 times in a year, have high rates of substance abuse and addiction, according to a study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.


The study found 77 percent of super-users have a substance abuse addiction, with 47 percent addicted to narcotics, 44 percent addicted to 'illicit' drugs and 35 percent addicted to alcohol.

Approximately 2.5 million ED visits involved drug misuse or abuse in 2011, a figure that increased nearly 20 percent since 2009, according to the federal Drug Abuse Warning Network.

"Emergency Departments that implement case management initiatives can make meaningful progress in addressing their frequent-user patient population," said Jennifer Peltzer-Jones, RN, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at Henry Ford and the lead author of the study, in a news release.

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