Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Prescription Overdoses Continue to Rise For 11th Year

Federal data compiled by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention show that prescription drug deaths rose for the 11th year in a row, to a shocking 38,329 deaths nationwide. The report, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that opioid painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin are the primary culprits, accounting for 75% of overdoses. Valium contributed to about 30% of the overdoses.

About 17% of these cases were clearly suicides, but the rest seem to have been accidental. The director of the chemical dependency program at NYC's Beth Israel Medical center told AP, "Right now there's a general belief that because these are pharmaceutical drugs, they're safer than street drugs like heroin. But at some point, people using these drugs are going to become more aware of the dangers."

In response to this growing problem, Indian Country Training is continuing its Tribal Prescription Drug Abuse Program, combined with Drug Endangered Children education, for another year. Intensive two-day regional sessions are scheduled for Albuquerque, Nashville, Spokane and Phoenix. For those who can't travel, or want some additional information, webinars are scheduled for May, July, September and November. Contact Indian Country Training for more information on these tuition-free events.

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