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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Prescription Drug Overdoses on the Rise

The prescription drug epidemic continues to ravage American homes with more and more people overdosing every day. In 2010 drug-related deaths increased 3 percent and preliminary figures indicate the upward trend continued in 2011, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The increase was largely driven by prescription painkillers such as oxycodone and hydrocodone. 

“While most things are getting better in the health world, this isn’t,” said Tom Frieden, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which released the new figures. “It’s a big problem, and it’s getting worse,” he told the newspaper. “The data supporting long-term use of opiates for pain, other than cancer pain, is scant to nonexistent. These are dangerous drugs. They’re not proven to have long-term benefit for non-cancer pain, and they’re being used to the detriment to hundreds of thousands of people in this country.”

Overdose related deaths involving prescription painkillers rose to 16,651 in 2010. That represented 43 percent of all deadly overdoses. Frieden advocates utilizing a computerized drug monitoring systems that track prescriptions for painkillers and other commonly abused narcotics.

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