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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

New CDC Report on Opiods

Today's guest post is by The Hon. David Langham who is the Deputy Chief Judge of Compensation Claims for the Florida Office of Judges of Compensation Claims and Division of Administrative Hearings

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recently issued a report on opiod painkillers. It concludes that prescriptions for opiods remain more common in the United States than anywhere else in the world. In 2012 there were 259 million prescriptions written for painkillers in this country. The report concludes this is "enough for every American adult to have a bottle of pills." (In the interest of full disclosure, I did not get mine, so someone must have gotten my share).

Drug overdose and interaction remains a problem in this country. According to the CDC "deaths from drug overdose have been rising steadily over the past two decades." Each day, "113 people die as a result of drug overdose and another 6,748 are treated in emergency departments for the misuse or abuse of drugs." The CDC says that 9 of 10 "poisoning deaths are caused by drugs."

The report quantifies the number of prescriptions per 100 people in each state (in parenthesis that follow). The five states with the most opiod prescriptions were Alabama (143), Kentucky (128), Oklahoma (128), Tennessee (143), and West Virginia (138). These are labelled as the "highest" states in the study. The five states labelled the "lowest" volume were California (57), Hawaii (52), Minnesota (62), New Jersey (63) and New York (60).

Florida is in the large group of 21 states categorized as "below average" in the study, with 73 prescriptions per 100...

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