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Drug Overdoses Kill More Americans Than Car Accidents: CDC
Date:12/20/2011

use of these drugs by doctors. "Between 1999 and 2010, the sales of these drugs increased fourfold," he explained.

"Part of this is an attempt to better treat pain. As we have seen the medical use go up, we have also seen the abuse of these products go up," Jones said.

"We have to make sure we are using these drugs appropriately," he added. "This starts with the health professional screening patients and making a conscious decision before prescribing these drugs that it's really needed."

Patients need to understand that these drugs have risks, Jones pointed out. "They should not be shared with others; they should be stored in a safe area and they should be disposed of properly," he said. "Getting at how the medications are prescribed and used, we can really start to reverse the epidemic."

More information

For more on prescription drug abuse, visit the U.S. National Library of Medicine.

SOURCES: Margaret Warner, Ph.D., injury epidemiologist, National Center for Health Statistics, Office of Analysis and Epidemiology, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Chris Jones, Pharm.D., M.P.H., health scientist, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Jeffrey Bernstein, M.D., medical director, Florida Poison Information Center, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine; Dec. 20, 2011, Drug Poisoning Deaths in the United States, 1980-2008


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