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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

PAIN KILLERS AND DEATH

During the past week, there has been a flurry of articles about the danger of taking pain killers.  What makes it all the more appropriate is the medical situation I posted yesterday and my search for a pain killing pill.



Pain killer overdoses have tripled over the past decade.  Now, these are not the responsible pill takers, for most of these deaths come from people using them for recreational uses.  Here are some facts:

  • Death rates from prescription painkillers are three times higher among non-Hispanic whites than for African-Americans and Hispanic whites
  • Death rates among Alaskan Natives and American Indians are about the same as they are for non-Hispanic whites
  • The highest death rates are among people aged between 35 and 54 years
  • 830,652 years of potential life before the age of 65 were lost in one year because of prescription painkiller overdoses
  • Overdoses from prescription painkillers destroy a similar number of years of potential life lost to those from road accidents, and significantly more that those lost due to homicide
  • According to 2008 data, death rates from prescription medication overdoses range from a low of 5.5. per 100,000 individuals in Nebraska to 27 per 100,000 in New Mexico
  • 1 in every 12 people aged at least 12 years uses prescription painkillers recreationally in Oklahoma, the highest rate in the USA. Nebraska has the lowest rate at 1 in every 30 people.
  • Sales of prescription painkillers per head in Florida (highest state) are three times higher than Illinois (lowest state). The higher the sales per person the higher that state's drug overdose death rate tends to be.  
Makes you wonder why New Mexico is the most dangerous state and Nebraska the safest, or why Floridians have sales/capita three times higher than Ilinoisians.  And why does Oklahoma have the highest rate of recreational users?


What are these lethal drugs?  Generally narcotics, like Opana, OxyContin, methadone and Vicodin.  However, pain killers include Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin and acetaminophen like Tyenol, available over the counter.  Taken with alcohol, you need to be careful about liver damage.  Some of these drugs have been undergoing class action lawsuits.

Well, good thing my thumb does not hurt anymore, except when I change the bandage four times a day.  I'll still now and then take Alleve for my hurting knee, but just now again reading the potential side effects I wonder if I just as well should bear the pain.  Well, at least for the next few weeks, for bad thumb means no golf.

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Mathew Arnold said...

Nice post. It has a good information for all those persons who takes pain killers in large number. It is harmful for our body so we should avoid pain killers as much as possible.
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