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Unintentional Poisoning Deaths

April 15th, 2007 · No Comments

Poisoning is second only to motor-vehicle crashes as a cause of death from unintentional injury in the United States. Nearly all poisoning deaths in the United States are attributed to drugs, and most drug poisonings result from the abuse of prescription and illegal drugs.

Previous studies, using multiple cause-of-death data, have indicated that the trend described in this report can be attributed primarily to increasing numbers of deaths associated with prescription opioid analgesics (e.g., oxycodone) and secondarily to increasing numbers of overdoses of cocaine and prescription psychotherapeutic drugs (e.g., sedatives), and cannot be attributed to heroin, methamphetamines, or other illegal drugs.

The mortality increases might be the result of greater use and abuse of potentially lethal prescription drugs in recent years, behaviors that are more common among whites than nonwhites. The substantial increase in deaths among persons aged 15–24 years is consistent with substantial recent increases in recreational prescription drug and cocaine use among adolescents and young adults.

Studies by state health agencies have reported recent increases in prescription-drug–poisoning mortality in rural communities, despite historically higher rates in urban areas.
More information on this research: cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5605a1.htm

Tags: Prescription Drugs Addiction

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