CDC: Prescriptions Drugs Cause More Deaths than Heroin and Cocaine Combined

South Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

Many people do not realize the seriousness of prescription drug abuse. Street drugs like heroin, crack or meth have always been considered evil for decades, but prescription drugs have not had that status.  As a result, there’s a tendency to take them a little less seriously.

This may be the wake up call some people are looking for.

According to a new report from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately forty Americans die every day from overdosing on painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin.

That’s adds up to approximately 15,000 Americans per year.

That is more than the number of deaths from heroin and cocaine combined.

Even more alarming, that is a 300% increase in painkiller abuse deaths over the past decade.

“We are in the midst of an epidemic of prescription narcotic overdose,” said Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the CDC during a tele-briefing to discuss the newly published information.

Officials say the abuse problem is getting worse. The number of deaths represents a three-fold increase over the past decade, and the CDC discovered that in 2010 alone, there were enough painkillers prescribed to supply every adult with a one-month supply.

It’s also an expensive problem. ABC news reports that Agency officials put the cost of nonmedical use — misuse, for the most part — of prescription painkillers at $72.5 billion based on government and insurance company data.

The sale of prescription drugs and the number of related deaths range by state, withFlorida, New Mexico and Oklahoma being among the states hardest hit by the epidemic.

By: South CarolinaCriminal Defense Attorney Pete Strom




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