- For the first time, deaths from properly prescribed drugs now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States
- Drug-induced fatalities are being fueled by overdoses on prescription pain and anxiety medications
- Those most at risk from dying from this new drug crisis are people in their 40s, but teenagers and the elderly are also at risk
- Between 2001 and 2008, there was a 36 percent increase in hospital admissions, and a 28 percent increase in emergency room visits, among children age 5 and younger who had accidentally ingested medication
By Dr. Mercola
Death by medicine is a 21st-century epidemic, and America’s “war on drugs” is clearly directed at the wrong enemy!
Prescription drugs are now killing far more people than illegal drugs, and while most major causes of preventable deaths are declining, those from prescription drug use are increasing, an analysis of recently released data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by the Los Angeles Times revealed.
The Times analysis of 2009 death statistics, the most recent available, showed:
- For the first time ever in the US, more people were killed by drugs than motor vehicle accidents
- 37,485 people died from drugs, a rate fueled by overdoses on prescription pain and anxiety medications, versus 36,284 from traffic accidents
- Drug fatalities more than doubled among teens and young adults between 2000 and 2008, and more than tripled among people aged 50 to 69
Again, these drug-induced fatalities are not being driven by illegal street drugs; the analysis found that the most commonly abused prescription drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.
‘Pharmageddon’ Is Upon Us
Pharmageddon1 is “the prospect of a world in which medicines and medicine produce more ill-health than health, and when medical progress does more harm than good” — and it is no longer a prospect but fully upon us. Those most at risk from dying from this new drug crisis are people you would least expect; the analysis revealed the death toll is highest among people in their 40s, but all ages, from teenagers to the elderly, and all walks of life are being affected. In fact, prescription drugs are now the preferred “high” for many, especially teens, as they are typically used legally, which eliminates the stigma of being a “junkie.”