The report headline came out about 10 days ago, and it raised some eyebrows among those who aren’t aware of the increasing problem of prescription drug poisoning.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisonings involving opioid analgesics now top the accidental death list, killing more people in 16 states each year than car crashes. Both the number and percentage of deaths involving opioid analgesics rose each year between 1996 and 2006.
These are drugs that are usually prescribed to relieve pain and include methadone (used to treat heroin addiction as well as pain), other opioids such as Vicodin, oxycodone and hydrocodone, and synthetic narcotics fentanyl and propoxyphene.
In 2006, the rate of poisoning deaths involving these drugs was more frequent for males, persons aged 35 to 54, and non-Hispanic whites than for those in other racial or ethnic groups.
If you have a loved one who takes this category of medication for short-term or long-term pain problems, you have every right to be concerned for their well-being.
Mix these drugs with alcohol and you have a funeral waiting to happen.
Read the report here. Talk with them and to your medical practitioner about ways they can better manage the pain.
It happened in our family many years ago, and the sadness over this loss has never left us. If you’ve lived through the experience of losing a loved one to opioid poisoning, share your wisdom here. We would all appreciate hearing from you.