Painkillers seem to be going literally with the latter part of their name. As per a startling observation by professionals from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), deaths due to prescription painkiller overdoses has apparently tripled over the last 10 years.
Reportedly, above 40 people die on a daily basis due to overdoses of narcotic pain relievers such as hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), and oxymorphone (Opana).
“Overdoses involving prescription painkillers are at epidemic levels and now kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined. States, health insurers, health care providers and individuals have critical roles to play in the national effort to stop this epidemic of overdoses while we protect patients who need prescriptions to control pain,” commented CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.
Experts revealed that state death rates from overdoses are apparently 27.0 deaths per 100,000 people in New Mexico and about 5.5 deaths per 100,000 individuals in Nebraska. Moreover, nonmedical use of prescription painkillers fluctuated from 1 in 12 persons aged 12 and above in Oklahoma to 1 in 30 in Nebraska. Regions with pronounced nonmedical use seemed to encounter more deaths from drug overdoses.
Furthermore, prescription painkiller sales per person appeared to be more than 3 folds higher in the state with highest death rates namely Florida as compared to the area with lowest rate, Illinois. The analysis has put forward certain guidelines for prohibition of drug overdoses such as better drug monitoring programs, public insurance programs and so on.
The CDC vital signs report is published in the journal, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, or MMWR.