Of those 22,000 prescription drug-related deaths, three-fourths were caused by pain medication.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports that 74% of the 38,329 drug-related deaths in 2010 were accidental overdoses. Only 17% were attributed to suicide.
During the past 11 years, overdoses involving prescription drugs have elapsed those from illegal drugs like heroin or methamphetamine as a national epidemic of prescription drug addiction has exploded.
The new study shows that opioids were found:
- In 77% of overdoses involving benzodiazepines.
- In 65% of overdoses involving antiepileptic or anti-Parkinsonian drugs.
- In 56% of overdoses involving anti-inflammatory or fever-reducing drugs.
- In 47% of overdoses involving antidepressants.
Source: Jones, CM, et al, "Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010." The Journal of the American Medical Association. 20 February 2013.
- Prescription Abuse Continues to Rise
- The Most Abused Prescription Drugs
- Using Drugs Without a Prescription Is Illegal