Every day there are forty-six deaths in the United States attributable to a prescription overdose. In 2011 alone, 16,917 overdose deaths involved opioid pain relievers, with 31% of the deaths including benzodiazepine sedatives as well (CDC WONDER, unpublished data, 2014). In 2012, health care providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid painkillers. Although many injuries and medical conditions require pain medication as treatment, prescription drug overdose has become an epidemic in the United States according to the Center of Disease Control Director Thomas Frieden. Prescriptions have increased 400 percent in the last decade. Nebraska has the third lowest drug mortality rate in the United States, however does little to curb prescription drug abuse.
One reason there is such a problem with overdosing on prescription drugs is overprescribing. Unfortunately prescription opioid abuse kills twice as many people as heroin and cocaine combined, and new studies suggest that 3 out of 4 people with a dependence on heroin began with prescription painkillers. Some states have begun to institute a prescription drug monitoring program in order to deal with the problem. In 2013, New York saw a 75 percent decline in the number of patients obtaining painkillers from multiple subscribers after instituting a monitoring program.
If you have an injury requiring prescription drugs, you can avoid falling into the addiction which leads to overdose by taking your medication exactly the way it is prescribed. Read more