The death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade, according to an analysis in the CDC Vital Signs report released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
- This new finding shows that more than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers like 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, said CDC Director Thomas Frieden, M.D., M.P.H. 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.
- In 2010, 1 in every 20 people in the United States age 12 and oldera total of 12 million peoplereported using prescription painkillers nonmedically according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Based on the data from the Drug Enforcement Administration, sales of these drugs to pharmacies and health care providers have increased by more than 300 percent since 1999.
- Almost 5,500 people start to misuse prescription painkillers every day,
- The prescription painkiller death rates among nonHispanic whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives were three times those of blacks and Hispanic whites.
- The death rate was highest among persons aged 3554 years.
- Overdose resulted in 830,652 years of potential life lost before age 65 years, a number comparable to the years of potential life lost from motor vehicle crashes and much higher than the years of potential life lost due to homicide.
- State death rates from overdoses (from 2008 data) ranged from a high of 27.0 deaths per 100,000 people in New Mexico to a low of 5.5 deaths per 100,000 people in Nebraska.
- Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers ranged from a high of 1 in 12 people aged 12 and older in Oklahoma to a low of 1 in 30 in Nebraska. States with more nonmedical use tend to have more deaths from drug overdoses.
- Prescription painkiller sales per person were more than three times higher in the highest state, Florida, than in the lowest state, Illinois. States with higher sales per person tend to have higher death rates from drug overdose.
- Rates of prescription painkiller sales, deaths and substance abuse treatment admissions
- Prescription painkiller overdoses at epidemic levels
- Adolescents and Painkiller Abuse
- Deaths from Rx Painkillers Still Rising, CDC Says