Drug deaths outpace car crashes in more states (MSNBC.COM)Sept. 2009
According to new government data, drug-related deaths outnumber those from motor vehicle accidents in 16 states, including Massachusetts. This illustrates a shift in the top cause of deaths after disease and illness.
From 1999 to 2006, death rates for opioid analgesics increased for every age group. Deaths from methadone alone increased sevenfold, the US CDC reported.
Based on death certificate data, CDC researchers counted more than 45,000 US deaths from motor-vehicle crashes in 2006 (40% alcohol related), and about 39,000 from drug-induced causes. No data have yet been finalized for 2007.
Declines in motor vehicle fatalities "are considered on of the great public health triumphs" of the last few decades, said Margaret Warner, an epidemiologist who co-authored the new CDC report. "But (drug) poisonings are definitely going up," she added. summarized from an article copyrighted 2009 The Associated Press.