Friday, June 18, 2010

Prescription Drugs Match Heroin, Cocaine in Overdoses in U.S.

Business Week (Online) June 17:

"Emergency-room visits from abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medicines doubled in the U.S. in four years, matching for the first time the number of overdoses of illegal drugs such as cocaine and heroin. Regulator-approved treatments were implicated in a record 1 million patients who sought help at hospital emergency departments in 2008, twice the number as in 2004, according to a study released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in Atlanta. Overdoses from illicit drugs were unchanged, at 1 million emergency visits. The most hospitalizations were caused by painkillers, with visits more than doubling, and tranquilizers, with an 89 percent increase..."
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