Prescription Drugs Cause More Deaths than Illegal Drugs

Tuesday, June 14, 2011
The biggest drug-overdose killers in the United States are not illegal substances like cocaine or heroin. Rather they go by names like Xanax, Klonopin, Oxycodone and Hydrocodone.
Death by prescription overdose is now a larger problem than those involving illegal street drugs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center reported earlier this year that unintentional deaths due to prescription opioid pain killers were involved in more overdose deaths in 2007 than heroin and cocaine combined.
Furthermore, the number of unintentional drug poisoning fatalities in 20 states exceeded either motor vehicle crashes or suicides. And opioid pain medications were involved in about 36% of all poisoning suicides in the U.S. four years ago.
In 2008, almost 1,000 people died from taking Oxycodone in Florida alone.
Kentucky’s Attorney General Jack Conway says his state may have the worst prescription-overdose problem in the country. That assessment is partially backed by Dan Smoot, director of law enforcement with Operation Unite, a Kentucky counter-narcotics program which brings together police investigations, treatment and education, who told the BBC News: “I believe I can safely say that over 80% of the inmates in the Pike County regional detention centre are in there for something dealing with their addiction to prescription drugs.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Deaths from Rx Pain Meds Surpass Heroin, Cocaine (by Rick Nauert, Psych Central)
Unintentional Poisoning – Keep Yourself and Others Safe (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
Is Klonopin the Most Dangerous Prescription Drug? (by Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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