|Fatal drug overdoses sweep the nation in the past year|
|Written by Olivia Gilbertsen, Staff Writer|
|Monday, 04 March 2013 16:25|
Fatal drug overdoses have increased for the 11th consecutive year in the U.S., according to data released this past February.
The data shows 57 percent of all national overdoses, which is more than 22,000 individuals, involved prescription drugs.
Another three-quarters of all overdoses used a form of pain killer, and more than 9,000 involved a form of drug cocktail.
“I have definitely noticed a rise in people who have overdosed on
prescription medication within the last few years. In my opinion, it is a
type of drug that is on the rise,” Sandra Beecher, corporate services
clinician at the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery in Normal,
The national statistics can be broken down even further knowing that
17 percent of overdose deaths were suicides. This shows that more than
74 percent of fatal overdoses were accidental across the U.S.
Many of these accidental drug overdoses, according the new data,
show how drugs like OxyContin, methadone and codeine, all of which are
included in the opioid family, were often used in fatal drug cocktails
The new data has found that an opioid was in 77 percent of all
overdoses that involved drugs, such as Valium or Xanax, also known as
“Another drug I see frequently as a major problem is heroin. But not
just that, all opiates in general seem to be popular and cause
problems,” Beecher said.
“We don’t track statistics exactly when it comes to drug overdosing, simply because the best thing for people to do when they see someone overdosing is to call the hospital, rather than the police department,” she added.
“Many overdoses in Normal are just frankly never
reported to the police; however, a trending theme is to get them medical
attention as soon as possible,” Kirk Ijams, assistant chief at Normal
Police Department, said.
Beecher added that she has noticed within the Bloomington-Normal
area an increase in the use of synthetic drugs, such as bath salts and
For a free confidential assessment to determine if you or someone you know has a drug addiction problem, contact the Illinois Institute for Recovery at (309) 888-0993.