Accidental Overdose

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Winehouse, Cory Monteith, Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Heath Ledger...... While many deaths may be due to misuse of illegal substances, these drugs are not always illicit, & an overdose may not always be intentional.

More than half of fatal drug overdoses in 2010 were caused by prescribed medication & prescription drug overdose deaths have quadrupled from 1999 to 2010. For 11 years in a row drug related deaths have INCREASED each year.

In 2010, about 40,000 people in the U.S died as a result of a drug overdose. 75% of prescription overdoses were due to medications such as OxyContin & Percocet; & 9,400 of prescription overdoses were due to unidentified drug cocktails; (cocktails refers to taking more than one type of prescription drug) 74% of prescription drug overdose deaths were ruled accidental; Benzodiazepines, which is a class of medications usually referred to as anti-anxiety drugs, were noted as a common cause of death in 30% of the prescription overdose deaths. Opioid medications & pain relievers such as Vicodin, contributed in some way to 75% of overdose fatalities. The number of prescription drug overdose deaths is higher than the combined total of overdose deaths due to HEROIN & COCAINE.

Cocktails of central nervous system depressants, such as opioid pain killers, sedatives, hypnotics, or alcohol may lead to an unintentional overdose due to severely depressed breathing. 


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