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prescription drug abuse
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Prescription Drug Deaths Higher Than Traffic Accident Deaths
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Prescription Drug Deaths Higher Than Traffic Accident Deaths

Prescription drug abuse, especially in regards to narcotic drugs has increased so dramatically that drug deaths connected to those drugs are now numbering higher than traffic fatalities in the United States. As recently as 2009, vehicle crashes were the number one cause of accidental death but that number has now been surpassed by accidental drug overdoses. As other causes of death have declined over the years, drug deaths have continued to rise. Nearly forty thousand people have died since 2009, all attributed to prescription drugs.

In the past ten years, the number of people who have died from some of the most commonly prescribed narcotic drugs has more than doubled, accounting for one death every fourteen minutes. Some of the most commonly abused, highly addictive drugs are leading the increase in drug related deaths and include OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. Another, Fentanyl has recently become more popular and more widely prescribed, quickly reaching problematic numbers as well. That drug, which can be prescribed as a patch or a lollipop is described as one hundred times more powerful than morphine. These drugs and others similar to them have caused more death than heroin and cocaine combined.

Even people who were prescribed their medications by a doctor for a legitimate reason are more prone to addiction and abuse because they are relieved of the social stigma attached to them. They don't worry that they are going to get "caught" by someone with these medications and may often take them improperly especially in the early days. Experts also warn that in the case of some of these drugs, addiction can happen so quickly the person might not even realize there is a problem.

Drug fatalities have more than doubled for teens and young adults but the death rate is more than three times higher for people over age fifty. The highest death rate from prescription drugs is for people in their forties. Not only have the number of deaths increased, but the number of people taking these drugs has also increased as well. The number of prescriptions written for the most commonly abused drugs has gone up by over forty percent in the last five years while the dosages for those medications have also gone up by fifty percent.

Experts worry that there is really no way to stop the death rate from climbing without depriving important medical care to the people who need it for legitimate pain.


Street Talk

AnnMarie  

Great Article Amie! I actually wondered about that. Have a friend's sister in the hospital with a 50/50 chance of survival from a bad reaction to the interaction of two prescribed medications. I try never to touch drugs if I can find a way to avoid them.

Reply
  about 9 years ago
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