With the prevalence of prescription painkillers and heroin addiction running rampant through cities all across the country, an interesting and terrifying statistic has emerged. According to a new report from the Trust for America's Health, drug overdoses account for more deaths than motor vehicle accidents in 29 states including the District of Columbia.
The report states that in 2000 only five states, Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, plus the District of Columbia suffered more than 10 death per 100,000 residents from drug overdoses. In 2010, 38 states and D.C. reached this mark. This shows a dramatic increase over the past 10 years of drug abuse, addiction and overdoses. The main culprit of these statistics is the flooding of prescription painkillers and heroin that has destroyed many lives in towns across the United States.
The Appalachia and Southwest regions of the United States have the highest number of overdoses. Unbelievably, West Virginia's drug overdose mortality rate has exploded by more than 600 percent! States in the Northeast and West Coast have an overdose rate in the middle and the Midwest has the lowest amount of overdoses.
Drug monitoring programs have been put into place by 32 states which require a patient who is filling a prescription to show a valid identification card. Even with these programs in effect, the overdoses and addiction rates continue to climb. Men between the ages of 25 and 54 have the highest number of overdoses and woman in the same age group are increasing at a rapid rate.
Our youth is in serious danger because of opiates. According to the study, one in twelve high school seniors has used Vicodin for non-medical use and a quarter of them has misused a prescription drug at least once in their life. This is a very scary statistic as prescription drugs are becoming easier to get a hold of.
Education about the dangers of prescription medications need to be taught to our youth. Children have to understand that using prescription drugs even one time can kill. If schools spend more time educating our youth on how dangerous these medications really are, it could save thousands of lives and prevent countless numbers of children from suffering from abuse. Most children hear about heroin and know how dangerous it is but do not understand how dangerous opiate prescription painkillers are. Education is the key to helping reduce drug abuse and addiction.