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Oregon 21st Among States In Drug Overdose Deaths

OPB | Oct. 7, 2013 1:39 p.m. | Updated: Jan. 3, 2014 2:19 p.m. | Portland

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Deaths from prescription drug abuse now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined — according to a national study released Monday by the Trust for America’s Health.

FDA.gov

More Oregonians die from prescription drug overdoses now, than from car crashes.

Over the last 14 years, the state’s overdose death rate has more than doubled.

Rich Hamburg of Trust for America’s Health says men tend to abuse drugs more than women, but the problem is widespread.

“Some of it is abusing these drugs and getting them from other sources, you know parties, that kind of thing. And some of it is just self-medicating.”

The study found that the abuse of prescription painkillers costs the country more than $50 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, health care and prison time.

The study also recommends 10 prevention policies. Oregon has already implemented eight of them.

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