Drug Deaths Now Outnumber Traffic Fatalities in US
In 2009, drugs exceeded the amount of traffic-related deaths, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide. According to information provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the very pharmaceuticals that are prescribed to treat life-endangering conditions are now ending lives. The death toll is partially due to an increase in mental illness medication known as psychotropics, which have been criticized by health experts as being oftentimes unnecessarily prescribed. The pills, given to patients to prevent suicide thoughts and tendencies, may actually lead to suicidal thoughts and suicide.
In 2005, it was found that link between Prozac and suicidal behavior was kept a secret. The BBC even reported in as early as the year 2000 that Prozac ‘led to suicide’. Oftentimes killers will end their own lives after shootings, or attempt to force the cops to kill them. This is essentially a form of suicide with a mixture of murderous tendencies. If Prozac can drive someone to suicide, could it also drive someone to end someone else’s life? Paxil, an anti-depressant drug, was found to be linked to violent behavior in 2006. The link incited multiple lawsuits, and brings up questions as to whether or not similar drugs have the same effects.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Public health experts have used the comparison to draw attention to the nation’s growing prescription drug problem, which they characterize as an epidemic. This is the first time that drugs have accounted for more fatalities than traffic accidents since the government started tracking drug-induced deaths in 1979.
Fueling the surge in deaths are prescription pain and anxietydrugs that are potent, highly addictive and especially dangerous when combined with one another or with other drugs or alcohol. Among the most commonly abused areOxyContin, Vicodin, Xanax and Soma. One relative newcomer to the scene is Fentanyl, a painkiller that comes in the form of patches and lollipops and is 100 times more powerful than morphine.
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