The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released a report revealing that in 2008, poisoning became the leading cause of injury death in the United States accounting for more than 41,000 deaths, with nine out of 10 mortalities caused by drugs that year. The report also states that misuse and abuse of opioid medications, like Vicodin, Oxycontin, and oxycodone were responsible for much of this increase. Opioid analgesics were involved in more than 40 percent of the incidences. Dr. Michael Lowenstein, co-medical director for the Waismann Method fears this increase is due to a lack of knowledge about the dangers of opioid medications amongst patients as well as improper treatment of injury pain by medical professionals.
The report found that the number of drug poisoning deaths reached approximately 36,500 in 2008, and 14,800 of those involved prescription painkillers. This rate more than tripled from 1999, when opioid analgesics were responsible for approximately 4,000 drug poisoning deaths (or 25 percent of all drug poisoning casualties). Drug poisoning fatalities involving opioid painkillers have increased more rapidly than deaths from any other type of drug, and poisoning is now the leading cause of death from injury in 30 states, including California, Florida, Washington, Nevada and Kentucky.
According to the CDC report, the death rate from drug poisoning was highest among males and older adults, specifically those aged 45 to 54 years old. Additionally, 77 percent of drug poisoning deaths were unintentional, 13 percent were suicides, and nine percent of the deaths were undetermined. Dr. Lowenstein points out that many individuals in the aforementioned age group are prescribed opiate medications for conditions that come with age, like arthritis and osteoporosis, which can cause an injury or pain. Even with very close medical monitoring, taking prescription painkillers simultaneously with other medications can cause unintentional poisoning.
If you or a loved one is struggling with dependency to prescription painkillers, we urge you to contact your medical physicians. For more information on choosing an opiate detox program for yourself or a loved one, please feel free to contact our office directly. The Waismann Method is a safe and proven treatment for opiate dependency that utilizes the most advanced medical techniques available. The rapid opiate detoxification procedure is carried out in a full-service hospital in Southern California by board-certified anesthesiologists while patients remain under deep sedation, so they experience minimal conscious withdrawal or suffering.