Prescription Drug Misuse Contributes to Continued Increase in Overdose Death Rate

Topics: Prescription drug abuse

Prescription drugs were involved in 60% of drug overdose deaths, which increased for the 11th consecutive year, reports Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The agency’s findings are based on 2010 data from the CDC National Center for Health Statistics and also showed that about 75% of pharmaceutical related overdose deaths involved opioid analgesics such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone. Further, researchers found that people with mental health or substance abuse disorders are at increased risk for prescription pain medication overdose. “Appropriate screening, identification, and clinical management by health care providers are essential parts of both behavioral health and chronic pain management,” noted Tom Frieden, MD, MPH, director, CDC. More information is available in a CDC news release. The study, “Pharmaceutical Overdose Deaths, United States, 2010,” was published in the February 20, 2013 issue of Journal of the American Medical Association.