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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Every 19 Minutes A Person Dies From Prescription Drug Abuse

Sadly, a number of people do not realize how dangerous prescription drugs can be despite legality. Just because a drug may be deemed legal as long as one has a prescription, hardly makes a drug safe - especially prescription narcotics. People are dying every day at unprecedented numbers. People are losing their lives to prescription narcotics and it seems that little can be done to curb this ever growing problem.

Every 19 minutes a person dies from prescription drug abuse in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In 2007 there was an estimated 27,000 unintentional drug overdose deaths, UPI reports. More people are abusing prescription drugs today than in 2007; this has grown quickly into the worst drug epidemic our country has ever seen.

The rise in unintentional drug overdose deaths is directly tied to an increase in use of prescription opioids, the CDC notes in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. For every unintentional overdose death linked to opioids:
  • nine people are admitted for substance abuse treatment
  • 35 people go to the emergency room
  • 161 report drug abuse or dependence
  • 461 report non-medical uses of opioids

Opioid misuse and overdose deaths are highest among:
  • non-Hispanic whites
  • men ages 20-64
  • poor
  • rural populations

There are two main groups at risk for prescription drug overdose according to the CDC. They are the nine million people who report long-term medical use of opioids and the estimated 5 million who have used opioids without a prescription or medical need in the past month.

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