Deaths Tied to Painkillers Rising in the U.S.

“Despite efforts by law enforcement and public health officials to curb prescription drug abuse, drug-related deaths in the United States have continued to rise, the latest data show. Figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reveal that drug fatalities increased 3% in 2010, the most recent year for which complete data are available. Preliminary data for 2011 indicate the trend has continued.

The figures reflect all drug deaths, but the increase was propelled largely by prescription painkillers such as OxyContin andVicodin, according to just-released analyses by CDC researchers.

The numbers were a disappointment for public health officials, who had expressed hope that educational and enforcement programs would stem the rise in fatal overdoses. “While most things are getting better in the health world, this isn’t,” CDC director Tom Frieden said in an interview. “It’s a big problem, and it’s getting worse.”

http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0330-rx-deaths-20130330,0,1604889.story

Source: LATimes.com – March 29, 2013

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