West Palm Beach wrongful death lawyers-CDC alerts drug related deaths outnumber traffic fatalities

Drugs deaths are on the rise and now more people die from drugs than motor vehicle collisions in 16 states according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Florida wrongful death lawyer-CDC reports drug related deaths surpass traffic crash fatalities in 16 states.

West Palm Beach, FL–Drug related deaths over a 16 year span in the United States alerts health officials at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. HealthDay News reported on the new findings on September 30, 2009, and revealed that even though traffic crashes remain responsible for the most injury related deaths in the United States as a whole, the federal government says 16 states report drugs now surpass traffic crashes as the leading cause of injury related deaths.

A recent CDC report says from 1990 to 2006, drug related deaths doubled in the United States, and in 16 states drugs claim more lives than traffic crashes. The sixteen states where drugs claim more lives than traffic accidents are Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Michigan, New York, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Washington. The number of deaths from prescription pain killers, like methadone has had the biggest increase in recent years according to the study and in 2003 only 8 states reported drugs as the leading cause of injury related deaths.

Methadone is a synthetic opioid and gained popularity as an anit-addictive in patients dependent on heroin. Termed the ‘methadone maintenance program’ the synthetic schedule II narcotic has a very high dependency rate in patients who take the medication. The drug was originally formulated in the late 1930’s in Germany when the government anticipated an opium shortage during the upcoming war. The drug is highly controversial because of its high dependency rate and its long half life, time it takes for half of the drug to clear the human body. The half life of methadone is 24 to 36 hours, so the buildup of methadone with a typical daily oral dosing occurs quickly. Methadone is very inexpensive and is now prescribed regularly for the treatment of chronic pain and is approved for reimbursement under the federal medicaid guidelines for pain management while better tolerated and more appropriate pain medications like morphine are not.

The issue of prescription pain medication misuse, overuse, and abuse through the entire health care system from doctors to nurses to pharmacists to patients is rampant in the United States and has now escalated into street drug use and sales. Broward County, one of the largest counties in the state of Florida, was coined the prescription pain medication capital of the United States this year. In the past year, the nation was rocked by the deaths of two famous people linked to a long list of prescribed drugs including pain killers, Anna Nicole Smith and Michael Jackson.

Florida wrongful death lawyer information by legal news reporter Heather L. Ryan.

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About the Author Justice Seeker

Heather L. Ryan, R.N., C.L.N.C- Heather Ryan is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant with 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Her expertise in reviewing medical records and assisting lawyers with the determination as to whether legal action should be taken provides an invaluable asset to the newsroom. Medical-malpractice, products liability, personal injury and workers’ compensation are some of the recent areas of litigation Ms. Ryan has focused her efforts on. A member of the Florida Justice Association, Heather maintains a long list of certifications and credentials to support her areas of expertise and stays up-to-date with her clinical knowledge working as an emergency room/trauma nurse, at a Level 1, Adult/Pediatric trauma and teaching institution in South Florida.