News Stories

Prescriptions Kill More People Than Cars

Did you know that drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the US? In 2009, they killed almost 40,000 people nationwide.

While most major causes of preventable death are declining, drugs are an exception. Prescription pain and anxiety drugs are potent and highly addictive and are especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Prescription drugs now cause more deaths than heroin and cocaine combined.

The death toll from drugs has doubled in the last decade, killing one person every 14 minutes. In contrast to this, traffic accidents have been dropping for decades because of huge investments in auto safety, such as airbags and anti-lock brakes.

In the September 18th edition of the Los Angeles Times, Lisa Girion, Scott Glover and Doug Smith quote public health expert Linda Rosenstock as saying that the liberalized prescription of pain drugs "may in fact be the cause of the epidemic we're now facing."

They quote police official Laz Salinas as saying, "The problem is right here under our noses in our medicine cabinets."

The authors quote researcher Amy S.B. Bohnert as saying, "It's a wonderful medical advancement that we can treat pain, but we haven't figured out the safety belt yet."

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