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Number of Deadly Drug Overdoses Rises for 11th Year

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The number of deadly drug overdoses in the United States increased for the 11th consecutive year, according to new government data. More than 22,000 people died of overdoses involving prescription drugs in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reports.

In total, 38,329 people died of drug overdoses that year. Of the 57 percent whose deaths involved prescription drugs, three-quarters were due to painkillers such as OxyContin and Percocet, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. They reported their findings this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

More than 74 percent of deaths due to prescription drugs were accidental, while 17 percent were suicides, the article notes.

Opioids were found in 77 percent of overdoses involving benzodiazepines such as Valium, Xanax or Ativan. They were also involved in 65 percent of overdoses with antiepileptic or anti-Parkinsonian drugs, 47 percent of overdoses involving antidepressants, and 56 percent of overdoses with fever-reducing and anti-inflammatory medications.

3 Responses to this article

  1. Carlos / February 22, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I Have yet to see one newspaper or a Television or radio station mentioning this new law where they exist. People are being informed by word of mouth and people are still hessitent. We really need to get the media on the ball to save some lives.

  2. Carlos / February 22, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Most likely will continuo to rise because people are afraid of calling the Rescue Squad who know what they are doing. Most of the time police shows up too and people do not want to get in trouble. In stead people invent all kind of home remedies like shoting salt in peoples vain (assuming that salt raises the blood pressure) and other equally non sense that has never shown to bring people out. What happens is that someone tries one of those remedies, and by coinsidence the person comes out of their stupor, and beging to breath. And the person asssumes that that was what couse the person to come back. For the most part those home remedies waste a lot of valuable time. Some times it takes too long for rescue to get to the scene.

    All states need to pass Good Samaritan 911 Laws like Florida, California and Washington has done.
    ‘Good Samaritan’ Laws Could Help Overdose Victims—If Only People Knew They Existed
    http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/10/good-samaritan-laws-could-help-overdose-victims-if-only-people-knew-they-existed/263850/

  3. Mark Kinzly / February 20, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    So many lives lost needlessly when we have so much evidance that shows education of users and family members and peers of folks that use opiates through overdose prevention and access to NARCAN works. Dead folks don’t recovery thats been proven forever. Lets continue to fight for access and education of this life saving medication.

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