Prescription drugs are killing people in the United States. Lots of people. So many people, in fact, that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a report last month (November 2011) that is downright terrifying.
Among people 35 to 54 years old, unintentional poisoning caused more deaths than motor vehicle crashes.
These are not street drugs sold illegally. They’re not drugs like cocaine or crack, sold with no safety checks or ingredients listing and bought for the purpose of getting high. No. These drugs that are killing so many Americans in this country that the situation has been declared an epidemic by the federal government are those that have been prescribed by doctors to patients to help them with ailments and injuries. Ones that you have to go to the drug store to get. Ones that may be in your medicine cabinet in your home right now.
1. the death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade;
2. more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers like hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), and oxymorphone (Opana);
3. Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels;
4. Prescription drug overdoses now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined; and
5. In 2010, 1 in every 20 people in the United States age 12 and older (12.000,000 people) reported using prescription painkillers nonmedically.
So, what is causing this Prescription Drug Epidemic of Death?
According to the CDC (and from its blog post by guest blogger Christopher M. Jones, PharmD, MPH, LCDR, U.S. Public Health Service), the amount of prescription drugs sold in the United States over the past ten years has skyrocketed. Not by just 100% or 200% — but by 300%.
Imagine the profits to the drug companies.
Doctors are using these prescription painkillers more and more to help patients who are suffering from pain. That is how these drugs are getting out there — from doctors’ signatures on prescription pads, which are filled at pharmacies around the country.
As coverage grows about this terrifying truth in our America today, it’s important to remember that solid fact. These are PRESCRIBED medications that are killing people, not home-cooked, back-alley street drugs made with ingredients scarfed up at the lcoal grocery store.