In a discussion of findings from a comprehensive report on the nation’s health released recently, CDC Director Thomas Frieden, MD, MPH, said, “Just about the only mortality statistic that is getting worse is death from prescription opioid abuse.” Indeed deaths from prescription opiate use are increasing rapidly, approximately five fold from 1990 to 2007. An alarming 27,000 deaths occurred from prescription drug overdoses in 2007, said government officials during a recent CDC event for physicians.
Furthermore, deaths from drug abuse overall have surpassed the number of deaths from suicide, homicide, and fire arms and are approaching the number of deaths caused by motor vehicle accidents. “It’s a major public health problem that is getting worse, and getting worse rapidly,” Frieden said. Click here to read an article from Medpage Today that discusses this study more.