Current Weather
The Spy FM

Overdose Deaths From Narcotics Keep Climbing

Filed by KOSU News in Health.
February 20, 2013

For the 11th year running, deaths from drug overdoses rose in the U.S in 2010.

Pharmaceuticals were involved in more than half of the 38,329 overdose deaths that year.

Opioid painkillers, such as hydrocodone, or Vicodin, were the most common prescription drugs implicated. They were cited in 16,651 fatalities, or 44 percent of the total.

When the focus was narrowed to prescription drugs, the opioid painkillers were, predictably, an even clearer problem. The drugs were involved in three-quarters of overdoses.

The findings appear in the latest issue of JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association.

Three-quarters of deaths involving prescription drugs were unintentional, 17 percent were suicides and the intent in the remaining 8 percent of deaths couldn’t be determined.

To figure all this out, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers combed through a national database containing causes of death drawn from death certificates.

Because a quarter of death certificates don’t specify the drugs involved in overdoses, the researchers say the findings on particular types of drugs are undercounts.

While it’s clear that opioids present the biggest hazard overall, drugs prescribed for mental health conditions are also involved in many deaths.

Sedatives known as benzodiazepines were implicated in nearly 6,500 deaths and antidepressants in almost 4,000 deaths. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

5PM to 7PM American Routes

American Routes

Hosted by Nick Spitzer, American Routes is a two-hour weekly excursion into American music, spanning eras and genres—roots rock and soul, blues and country, jazz, gospel and beyond.

Listen Live Now!

7PM to 9PM The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show

The Oklahoma Rock Show filters through dozens of submissions a week to find the best in new local music. Ryan LaCroix is the host and mastermind behind the show and teaches at the Academy of Contemporary Music at the University of Central Oklahoma (ACM@UCO).

View the program guide!

9PM to 5AM The Spy

The Spy

An eclectic mix of the Spy's library of more than 10,000 songs curated by Ferris O'Brien.

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center