November 13, 2008
Prescription pill deaths soar
National trend is even more pronounced in Washington
By VANESSA HO
More people are dying from prescription painkillers than ever before in a national epidemic that’s eclipsing past drug scourges, including heroin overdoses in the ’70s and crack cocaine deaths in the early ’90s.
The trend, reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is more pronounced in Washington state, health officials said Thursday. Two years ago, local poisonings — mostly drug overdoses — surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death by unintentional injury.
The main reason: a skyrocketing number of overdoses by prescription opioids. More…