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NPR Statistic

Hi guys, I just had to post what I heard on NPR.
More and more people are dying every year from prescription med overdoses than heroine and cocaine combined. I was so terrified, like most of you, to detox because of the WD and I rarely ever thought about dying from an overdose. Sometimes, I would think, am I going to wake up in the morning but that thought wouldn't stop me.

I'm just feeling so upset at how many of us are so addicted that we could die. It's a waste of a precious life!

Ok, I'm done for now. Thanks
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Avatar universal
It's not that more and more people are dying from THEIR prescription narcotics,  its just that more and more people are getting prescription narcotics illegally, and dying from misusing them. You have to be very objective when you hear stuff on the news, they often leave out important facts or skew them in order to sensationalize a story. Ratings are what matter to them, not truth and accuracy.

You won't die in your sleep as long as you take them properly. And you won't die if you stop taking them, as long as you do so properly under your doctors supervision.

Do addicts do stupid things like remove the fluid from fentanyl patches and inject them and die? You bet.  crush and dissolve ocycontin pills and inject those? you bet.  But that isn't the drugs fault or the drug manufacturers fault.  

People also die from taking percs, but not because of the narcotic, but because they overdose on acetaminophen and kill their livers.

This is a tricky one to figure out, because the number of  narcotic prescriptions given out has increased dramatically- it has gone up over 39% from 1999 to 2009. But have deaths from overdoses gone up the same?

More and more people die every year in automobile related incidents too. Is it the car makers fault? Hardly.  How many of those are crime related? For example crashing while trying to out run the cops after committing a robbery?  driving while impaired?  Regardless, does this mean crime is going up, and there are more impaired drivers on the road? Or is crime actually going down, and there are actually less drunk drivers on the road?

You have to look at the per capita sample. When the population increases, naturally so does the number of drivers and vehicles on the road, and therefore the number of accidents etc. But does the number of accidents or crime related accidents go up for every thousand or hundred or whatever the sample may be?  Probably not.

Just some food for though in any case. .
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Avatar universal
Have the number of deaths in relation to heroin and cocaine remained the same, or have some who would have normally died from H and Cocaine, died from a prescription opiate instead, because they were easier to get than H or cocaine? Has herion and cocaine use actually increased in step with population growth, or has this number gone down while prescription narcotic use remained static or grown in proportion to population growth?
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Avatar universal
Well, the fact that there was a story on NPR Monday and today indicates to me that at least overdose from prescription meds is on the rise. I highly respect NPR. I think it's important for people out there to know that this is a real problem. It's not just the Dr's fault but I know for me, it was so easy to get a lot of pills without any real proof that I was actually hurting. Yes, alot of people get them off the streets but I just wanted to share with everyone what I heard in just a few days. Maybe this isn't the place for what I posted. It just felt right considering what I'm going through and so many millions of other people.
Just my thoughts.
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Avatar universal
From what I can see so far, (but I'm not done researching yet) It appears to be more or less the same percentage of people overdosing in relation to number of prescription narcotic users. It's just as the population grows, along with other statistical factors  such as the dramatic increase of narcotic prescriptions being written over the past ten years,  The  total numbers are of course higher.
How cocaine and heroin use has either gone up or down over the same period is something I'm still trying to figure out. That will tell us something one way or another.  I already know that illegal drug use per capita has declined from the 70's and 80's but I don't know if it has remained static percentage wise per capita from 1999 to 2009 or gone up or down.
Generally the percentage of illicit drug users per capita remains within a couple percentage points up or down from year to year. And these kinds of statisics are hardly very accurate.

It's all interesting stuff none the less.

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Avatar universal
Supplier told me about a month ago that gov thinking about regulating or banning hydro because of widespread abuse. Said it was on the news and it was becoming very popular drug of choice so gov is thinking about taking some kind of action.
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Avatar universal
Thanks for your responses Luckytwice. You definitely made a lot of great points.
I think it would be a good idea for more control over hydro scripts but not sure when or if it will happen. I had a few drs flat out refuse to give it to me while 99% said, here you go.
Interesting stuff!
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Avatar universal
I read these stitistics a few mo ago prescription drug overdose is up 300% from last yr in the E/Rs and in to states ohio and florda prescription drug overdose is now killing more people then auto accadets that a first time in history auto accedents have always been the no1 killer in all of the states this is not just an epidemic it it a tusimie sweeping over our country the dea is cracking down on the pill mills but that still leaves a lot on the street as well as in people hands that have scripts ....it takes a lot less of this stuff to O/D on then most of us think the acedamedfine is causing liver failure as well as permanent kidney damage ....time to get clean b/4 your a stitistc ....Gnarly      
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Avatar universal
Depends what state you look at. While numbers like 300% sound bad, What that means, is some states had ER prescription drug overdoses that increased 300% over the year before, but the actual numbers are from 8 people per 100 thousand increasing to 24 people per 100 thousand in that particular state.
But if you look at stats for New Mexico for example,  Their last published numbers look like this:

Statewide data for 2007 and 2008 were analyzed. The
age-adjusted unintentional drug overdose death rate in
New Mexico increased from 17.5 per 100,000 in 2007
to 19.6 per 100,000 in 2008. The illicit drug overdose
death rate increased 7% (10.1 per 100,000 in 2007 and
10.8 per 100,000 in 2008) while the prescription drug
overdose death rate slightly decreased (11.1 per
100,000 in 2007 and 10.8 per 100,000 in 2008).

Toxicology data was available for 92% of all unintentional drug overdose deaths in 2008. There were no
statistically significant increases when examining the
drug(s) causing death, either alone or in combination
with other substances. However, the most notable rate
change from 2007 to 2008 was for heroin, increasing
from 5.4 to 7.4 deaths per 100,000. The largest increase in heroin overdose death was observed among
Hispanic (from 15.1 to 18.8 deaths per 100,000) and
white males (6.6 to 9.1 per 100,000), but was not statistically significant.


So you can see that you cannot take data from just one state and say that this is true all across the nation.  I agree that Florida is perhaps the worst state and prescription drug abuse, deaths etc. is beyond epidemic, and as you said others are almost as bad.

What I'm having trouble doing is finding all the data and putting it all together to find what the national averages are, so I can get a true picture of what's going on, and what drugs are actually increasing and which ones aren't.
It's kinda frustrating actually because not all states use the same format for their data. Some count deaths per 100,000, some per 1000, and some per million.  

As far as the auto deaths vs drug deaths go, that may well be for the one particular state, but it don't hold true nationally.

I'm not doubting the fact that prescription drug abuse has increased dramatically over the past ten years, I just want to figure out what the  real national averages are, and whether or not ALL drug use and deaths/overdoses are  increasing dramatically, both illegal and prescription drugs, or is one rapidly out pacing the other?  It's not so easy to figure out. But I'll give it a shot, just for curiosity's sake.  



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Avatar universal
Thanks for the info. I think it's all about awareness and the fact that there have been increasing reports lately indicates to me that this is a big problem that people need to know about. People die all the time from different levels of pills. Everyones body is different. Addicts take large amounts at one time and yes, it's toxic to the liver. Thank god, my liver didn't say see ya!
I'm on day 4.
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Avatar universal
Hi Innerstrength,

I understand the point you were trying to make.  Statistics on any subject matter are a funny thing; you can put your own spin on any set of data and change the meaning of it entirely.  That doesn't mean that studies done and the subsequent interpretation of said studies is irrelevant.  It may very well be true that prescription medication overdoses are increasing - I don't think we need any studies to figure that out.   In general, younger and younger people are opting for prescription meds as their DOC.  One can interpret stats until their head spins, but I think what you were trying to say is, just take a look around you (this forum included) and draw your own conclusions.  It is a big problem. :(

Well wishes,

Sandy
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Avatar universal
And what happened years ago when oxy first came out... Purdue pharma sent reps around telling doctors that it was this miracle pain killer and not very addictive.  So all these doctors started writing scrips.  Over a couple of years thousands of addicts were created.  In three  counties in southwest Virginia, there were 417 oxy deaths over a period of seven months.  My son was one of them.  He was in a car accident and was given oxycontin when released from the hospital.  He got addicted.  Doctors finally cut him off.  When doctor shopping stopped working he turned to finding it on the streets.  Well, he overdosed in someone's house and all the party goers were afraid of getting in trouble so they cleaned house instead of calling an ambulance.  My son sat on the sofa and stopped breathing.  Decent people become addicts without ever knowing what hit them.  Sorry to rant.

Jennifer
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Avatar universal
Hello, Your story is heartbreaking, and as a Mom it must be so difficult for you.  I don't have kids yet, so I don't know first hand the kind of love a parent has for their child, but I'm told it is the strongest love there is. I hope time has healed some of your pain, but I know it never really goes away.
That along with the anger at the senselessness of it. I am truly sorry this happened to you and to your son.
I hope you are able to find peace in your life.

Sandy  I
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Avatar universal
Thank you... Someone once told me that you never get over it, you just learn to live with it.  So true.  And yes time heals and he does little things to let me know he is around once in awhile.  The thing I miss the most is hearing him laugh.  You've heard people say dance like no one is watching... Well, he laughed like no one was listening.  Thanks a bunch.

Jennifer
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Avatar universal
I don't care if they got the drugs legally or illegally. BTW  There are cases where the addiction started after the person was being treated for broken legs, cancer, plastic surgery and more.  The topic isn't food either. Since when does the problem of drinking and driving deaths justify the hurts of any other issues to be dealt with ?  There is a very real issue here.   Prescription drugs such as oxycodon ( however spelled ) and other opiates  commonly result in addiction. Once addicted the euphoria built up in the person's mind can become an uncontrollable urge that takes over the person's life.   Nobody is born wanting to be an addict.  The pharmaceutical companies have become legal drug lords, Why not produce and sell a product that demands chronic abuse. Aren't they the ones profiting from abundant demand for the abused drug ? The fact is the abuse is epidemic. Although the addiction may afflict any age, the fact remains kids are dying or in jail, and the numbers are growing. Wake up !!! I have been to the funeral of a teenager who overdoes. I don't think there are any excuses or explanations will ease the family's life changing anguish and hurt . The epidemic needs to be addressed with a focus on recovery and rethinking pharmaceutical companies who are designing and selling these pain killers. ( Doctor's can't prescribe a drug that is not available.)
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Avatar universal
the drug abuse has become epidemic and the numbers are growing . stats can always be read to meet the needs of the interpretor. I personally have gone to 6 funerals ( all young adults ) this year. One funeral was one too many. Ask the mother's of these kids.
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Avatar universal
Stats can be interpreted to meet the needs of an opinion. One state, ten states , red fish , blue fish...who cares.....KIDS ARE DYING . It has been classified as a national epidemic.
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