Drugs Now Cause More Deaths than Car Crashes

Sunday, September 25, 2011
While better regulations and safety standards have produced fewer and fewer auto-related deaths in the United States, drug-induced fatalities continue to go up—and now are the bigger killer of Americans.
An analysis by the Los Angeles Times discovered that drugs killed 37,485 people nationwide in 2009. Auto deaths that same year totaled 36,284, making it the first time cars were the less deadly problem of the two.
Prescription abuse has been the leading factor in driving up drug fatalities, which have doubled in the last ten years and now average one every 14 minutes. Aggressive marketing campaigns by pharmaceutical companies and relaxed standards for doctors prescribing drugs have contributed to their spread. The most commonly abused medications are OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax, Soma and Fentanyl. In fact, prescription overdoses now outnumber deaths caused by heroin and cocaine combined.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Drug Deaths Now Outnumber Traffic Fatalities in U.S., Data Show (by Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Doug Smith, Los Angeles Times)
Traffic Deaths Hit 60-Year Low (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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