Painkiller Overdoses Kill More in Tennessee than Car Accidents or Guns
Overdoses from opioid prescription painkillers have reached epidemic proportions in Tennessee.
Last year’s total of opioid overdoses was 1,263, up 97 over the total in 2013, according to The Tennessean. Opioids are found in prescription painkillers such as Hydrocodone and Oxycodone, nicknamed “hillbilly heroin.”
“It’s an epidemic sweeping across the state, affecting people in both small towns and big cities,” The Tennessean’s Holly Fletcher wrote.
The number of those who died as a result of opioid overdoses was greater than the total killed in car accidents or by gunfire.
“I would like to think the rate of increase has slowed, but quite frankly the 2014 numbers don’t really allow me to say that,” David Reagan, chief medical officer of the Tennessee Department of Health, told the newspaper. “It is at epidemic proportions in our state.”
The death toll was highest among men and women ages 45 to 55, Reagan said.
The state is trying to combat the trend. Already, the information tracked in the state’s controlled substance database has expanded. Beginning next year, chief medical officers of pain clinics will be required to be pain specialists.
To Learn More:
Overdose Deaths Reach ‘Epidemic Proportions’ (by Holly Fletcher, The Tennessean)
Overdose Deaths Reach ‘Epidemic Proportions’ in Tennessee (Associated Press)
States Battle with FDA over Powerful New Painkiller (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
Doctors are Primary Source of Narcotic Painkillers for Chronic Drug Abusers in U.S. (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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