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Prescription Drug Overdose Essay

1091 words - 4 pages

Almost 40,000 people die every year from overdosing on prescription medicine. Solutions to this overdose issue include alternate treatments, the disposal of leftover medicine and unused prescriptions, and providing Narcan to those using prescription medicine, which is a medicine to reverse an overdose.
58% of overdoses are caused by medicine. For 1 death: 10 people are admitted for treatment of drug abuse, 32 ER visits for drug abuse, 130 abuse prescription drugs, and 825 are nonmedical prescription drug users. 1 in 10 drug abusers actually get treatment for abuse. Prescription drugs sales have quadrupled over the last 15 years. Around 75-90% of overdoses are accidental, 20% are suicide, and 10% are unknown. Where do people get the drugs they are using? 55% from friends and family, 10% buy from family or friends or from a dealer, 20% are prescribed from a doctor, 5% took without asking or stole, and 10% other reasons. Reported users range from 16-24 years old. Around 365 people younger than 45 die from overdose, while 320 people 45 and over die from overdose. Overdose deaths have increased tremendously from 2008-2012. Overdose deaths in 2008- 638, 2012- 686. Prescription and illicit drug deaths in 2008- 47, 2012- 72. Death by illicit drugs in 2008- 94, 2012- 95. Death by prescription drugs in 2008- 496, 2012- 520. Since 2009 drug overdose deaths have increased by 33%. Overall New England was ranked 1st having the highest drug overdose rate. 55% of overdose victims are male, while the remaining 45% are female. 91% of victims are white. In Rhode Island (2012) 119 of 182 victims of overdose (65%), involved prescription drugs, alcohol, or other drugs. The highest death causing drugs include: Xanax (222), Oxycodone (175), Methadone (170), and Hydrocodone (125). The lowest death causing drugs include: Celexa (55), Valium (47), and Benadryl (47). 75% of drug overdoses involve opoid painkillers. 30% of people die from painkillers and benzodiazepines. Opoid painkillers are used for pain, while benzodiazepines are used for anxiety, epilepsy, and as muscle relaxers. In the U.S. 100 people die from drug overdose everyday. In 2008 almost 15,000 deaths were a result of prescription drug overdose. The abuse of prescription drugs costs the U.S. 54 billion dollars a year. The hype for prescription drugs has increased, therefore many more pharmacies and drugstores are robbed. Painkillers can be as addictive as heroin. Prescription drugs and heroin have the exact same effect on your body. They also have said to be giving a similar high as heroin gives. Heroin is cheaper, so many people use heroin over prescription drugs. Prescription drugs can be very expensive, causing buyers to find other cheaper or generic drugs matching the prescription. When you take prescription drugs, receptors in your brain bind together to lower the ability to feel pain. Eventually this causes a person to get high (euphoria effect). Heroin, acetyl fentanyl, and synthetic opiate...

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