Pharmaceuticals Are the Number One Cause of Poison Related Fatalities
Based on data collected by the National Poison Control Center, researchers concluded that prescription drugs “accounted for 83 percent of poisonings resulting in death in 2012,” according to a recent article in Safety and Health Magazine. What types of dangerous drugs, in particular, are linked to so many poisoning related deaths? The research highlights the use and abuse of opioid painkillers, as well as medications used to treat depression and cardiovascular conditions.
Most notable is the conclusion that prescription opioid use has become especially hazardous for children. Between the years 2002 and 2012, children’s consumption of these drugs “more than doubled from 2,591 to 5,541.” Based on the recent study cited above, which was ultimately published in Annals of Emergency Medicine, the greatest number of accidental poisoning resulted from these prescription medications.
Preventing Prescription Drug Accidents
When we take prescription medications, we trust that our physicians and pharmacists are providing us with all the information we need—and the correct dosage—for safe use. According to a safety handout from the Huntsman Cancer Institute, opioid use can be extremely dangerous. Indeed, while low doses can be “safe and effective” for many patients, it is important to understand the hazards associated with using opioids to treat chronic pain.
Accidental overdoses and fatal injuries can occur if you do not take opioids properly. According to the above safety handout, you should never combine opioid use with any of the following:
- Muscle relaxants
- Sleep aids
- Some anti-anxiety and seizure drugs
Because opioids already make you drowsy, ingesting anything that will contribute to this sensation can result in a dangerous overdose.
In addition to overdoses, prescription drugs can also lead to other kinds of deadly accidents. In particular, given that opioids and other regulated drugs can cause sedation, using certain prescription drugs while driving can increase your risk of a severe car accident.
If you have been injured as a result of taking a prescription drug, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. Contact an experienced dangerous drug lawyer to learn more about your rights.