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Accidental Overdose Deaths At Epidemic Levels

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  • Julienne
    OVERDOSE DEATHS AT EPIDEMIC LEVELS Futurity April 27, 2011 http://nhne-pulse.org/accidental-overdose-deaths-at-epidemic-levels/
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2011
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      April 27, 2011



      The number of teens and adults dying from accidental overdoses in 2007
      surpassed motor vehicle crashes and suicides, two of the leading causes of
      injury death.

      Driving the epidemic are prescription opioid medications, involved in about
      36 percent of all poisoning suicides in the U.S. in 2007, and in more
      overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined. Opioids are synthetic
      versions of opium that are used to treat moderate and severe pain.

      A new commentary, aimed at helping doctors control the problem, is published
      online in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

      Approximately 27,500 people died from unintentional drug overdoses in 2007.
      Put in perspective, the number is about 4.6 times as many deaths as all U.S.
      fatalities in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom in
      Afghanistan from the beginning of both wars through Feb 20, 2011.

      Alternatively, the 2007 U.S. unintentional drug poisoning deaths would be
      equivalent to losing an airplane carrying 150 passengers and crew every day
      for six months.

      The report is co-authored by Richard Weisler, adjunct professor of
      psychiatry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and adjunct
      associate professor of psychiatry at Duke University; Ashwin Patkar,
      associate professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at
      Duke; and Leonard Paulozzi, medical epidemiologist at the Centers for
      Disease Control.

      The CDC sounded alarms in several reports last year. In June 2010, for
      example, the agency announced that the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior
      Survey (YRBS) found that 1 in 5 high school students in the U.S. have abused
      prescription drugs, including the opioid painkillers OxyContin, Percocet,
      and Vicodin.

      And in June last year the CDC reported that visits to hospital emergency
      departments involving nonmedical use of prescription narcotic pain relievers
      has more than doubled, rising 111 percent, between 2004 and 2008.

      Various reports cite key factors linked to the problem, including increased
      nonmedical use of opioids without a prescription ³Š solely for the feeling
      it causes² and that psychiatrists and primary care physicians may fail to
      anticipate among their patients the extent of overlap between chronic pain,
      mental illness, and substance abuse.

      "...the women in his movies know the way back to
      paradise, but the men are dolefully stuck in
      purgatory licking their wounds." From a review of "Beau Pere".
      Julienne's Blog:
      http://www.myspace.com/youandthecosmos, and
      Facebook. Radio: "You and the Cosmos"
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