Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Sharp Rise In Prescription Drug Deaths When Studied By County

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Drug poisoning is now the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. and has increased by more than 300 percent over the last three decades. Almost 90 percent of poisoning deaths can be attributed to illicit or licit drugs, with prescription drugs accounting for the majority of drug overdose deaths. A startling trend seen last decade; there were more prescription drug deaths than heroin, cocaine or crack cocaine.

Mayo clinical research found this summer that 70% of Americans are on prescription drugs with 20% of those taking multiple prescriptions. Prescription drug-related deaths have sharply risen in the past decade alone, even overtaking car accidents as leading causes of U.S. injury deaths.

A new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine gives new insight into the geographic variation in drug poisoning mortality, with both urban and rural areas showing a large increase in death rates. While previous studies have looked at drug poisoning related deaths in broad strokes, this is the first study to examine them on the county level across the entire U.S.