Hospitals see rise in opioid overdoses

(CBS) -- 29-year-old Robert Goldstein was an Indiana father of four, who died of a drug overdose this week.

His siblings say he struggled with his addiction for 15 years.

"It's torn us all apart," said Robert's brother, Joe Goldstein.

"You wanted to shake and tell him you have to stop," said Lisa Martin, Robert's sister.

A new study by Boston researchers found between 2009 and 2015, ICU admissions at 162 hospitals increased 34%.

Dr. Timothy Brennan is an addiction specialist.

"The sickest patients in the hospital end up in the ICU so when we think about the opioid crisis, tragically, we're talking about a disease that's killing people or putting them right up to death's door," said Dr. Timothy Brennan, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Mount Sinai Health System.

The effort to save these patients rose sharply over the 7-year-study.
The average cost to treat an ICU patient in 2009 was just over 58 thousand dollars.

In 2015, it was just over 92 thousand dollars…an increase of 58 percent.

Researchers say despite the care provided in ICU's around the country, the opioid epidemic has left people sicker. The study shows hospital deaths from overdoses have doubled.

"How many people have to die... how many have to be devastated by this disease? An addict is considered a criminal. That hasn't worked for treating this so far," said Goldstein.

Goldstein's family hopes sharing their brother's story can change attitudes toward drug addiction…and save lives.