ewsTarget... Poisoning from
prescription drugs has risen to become the second-largest cause
of unintentional deaths in the United States, according to the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report,
researchers found that deaths from prescription drugs rose from
4.4 per 100,000 people in 1999 to 7.1 per 100,000 in 2004.
This increase represents a jump from 11,000
people to almost 20,000 in the span of five years.
Among the 20,000 that died, more than 8,500 –
double the number from 1999 -- were from "other and unspecified
Psychotherapeutic drugs, like antidepressants
and sedatives, nearly doubled from 671 deaths to 1,300.
Age-wise, the biggest jump was among people
aged 15 to 24, which the CDC report says relates to recreational
prescription drug use and a jump in cocaine use.
However, all other age groups except the
elderly over-75 group saw increases of more than 35 percent on a
per 100,000 scale in prescription drug deaths – including a
nearly 90 percent jump for the late Baby Boomer generation (ages
45 to 54) and a more than 90 percent for people aged 55 to 64.
Mike Adams, a consumer health advocate and outspoken critic of
pharmaceutical companies, said that the
industry is freely killing Americans.
"The entire drug industry, including the
monopolistic drug giants and their FDA co-conspirator, has
clearly become the single greatest threat to the health and
safety of the
American people," Adams said. "And yet
continues to push more drugs onto more Americans than ever
before, all while pretending these drugs are safe and effective
when, in reality, they are neither. Today's pharmaceutical
industry is a massive fraud being perpetrated against the
American people, propped up by illegal trade practices,
monopolistic behavior and outright criminal behavior on the part
of the FDA."
One caveat of the report is that the data
used did not allow
to be separated from other drug deaths, meaning there may be
inherent errors because it was impossible to tell after death
the intent or reason for a person's death from
"Some of these deaths might have been
suicides, although not classified as such, and some deaths
categorized as suicides or of undetermined intent might have
been unintentional and therefore not analyzed in this study. The
extent of this error is not known," the report states.
However, statistics from the web site
state that in 2001, nearly 5,200 deaths came from
self-poisoning, which includes not only abusing prescription
drugs but also overdosing on over-the-counter drugs and
ingesting lethal chemicals.
The CDC report can be read in full
at this link.