“The percentage of fatally injured drivers who tested positive for prescription opioids rose sevenfold from 1 percent in 1995 to over 7 percent in 2015, according to a new study conducted by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and released this month.
“Prescription opioids as potent pain medications can cause drowsiness and impair cognitive functions,” Guohua Li, professor of Epidemiology at Mailman and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement. “The 700 percent rise in the prevalence of prescription opioids detected in fatally injured drivers is cause for great concern.”
The study’ findings, published in the American Journal of Public Health, indicated that annual prescriptions of opioids like as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, quadrupled from 76 million in 1991 to nearly 300 million in 2014 and that an estimated 3,900 people initiate nonmedical prescription opioid use daily. As a result, opioid abuse and overdose has become a national public health crisis, the report said.”
Source: Forbes.com – July 28, 2017