Please share information for awareness against accidental drug overdose. We welcome comments and links as well as stories on your experiences that you would like to share.Accidental Drug Overdose
Drug overdose has now overtaken automobile crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S., according to an analysis of government data. This is the first time that drugs have killed more people than car wrecks since the government began tracking drug-related fatalities in 1979.
The increase in drug deaths can be ascribed largely to a surge in overdoses involving prescription painkillers. According to a separate analysis, that same increase in prescription drug use by adults may also be fueling a related trend in children under 5: from 2001 to 2008, accidental drug poisonings of young children increased 22%.
Read more: http://healthland.time.com/2011/09/19/fueled-by-growing-painkiller-use-overdose-deaths-and-child-poisonings-are-on-the-rise/#ixzz2OIFm1KnnFacts & Stats
Stats about international overdose
Overdoses were responsible for 26,400 deaths in the US in 2007. Opioid painkillers have caused more overdose deaths in the US since 2003 than heroin and cocaine combined, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) world overview for 2011 estimated between 25,000 and 27,000 drug related deaths in Europe. Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, Spain and Germany accounted for 80% of that total.
A drug overdose survey conducted in 12 countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia by The Eurasian Harm Reduction Network (EHRN) found official data was unreliable. The Black Sea state of Georgia, for example, officially recorded 15 overdose-related deaths in 2010. However one health clinic in the capital Tiblisi reported 5 or 6 overdoses a day.
Eastern Europe and Central Asia has an estimated 3,724,000 people who inject drugs. At least two-thirds of users reported having overdosed, with 4 out of 100 being fatal, the EHRN survey found. In most countries in the region drug users are afraid to call an ambulance for an overdose because police must launch a criminal investigation when a death occurs.
Countries in South America, including the Caribbean and Central America, reported relatively few drug-related deaths (between 2,200 and 6,300) with a mortality rate well below the global average, the UNDOC said.
The UNODC estimates in Africa that between 13,000 and 41,700 drug overdose deaths occur a year, close to the global average per head of population.
Drug-related deaths in Asia are extremely tentative because of poor regional coverage and reporting of mortality data, the UNODC said. However the agency estimated between 15,000 and 140,000 deaths a year in Asia.
UNODC says Oceania, which includes Australia and New Zealand, has a higher than average drug mortality rate, mainly because of better reporting. The agency said about 2,800 drug related deaths occurred in 2010
At least one Australian dies every day as a result of opioid overdose, without counting deaths due to overdoses on other drugs. In Victoria the Coroners Court recorded 338 drug-related deaths in 2010. Prescription medicines alone were responsible for 40 percent, the second largest group was prescription medicines mixed with illicit drugs (20.4 percent).
Thousands of Australians are hospitalized each year for drug overdoses and many are children. In 2005-06 there were 6,623 Australians admitted to hospital over non-fatal drug overdoses and 20 percent of these were children aged 0-4years old.
Powerful painkillers are being prescribed to Australians at increasing rates. In the decade and a half until 2007 prescriptions for opioid painkillers rose threefold to 7 million a year. Over the same period the number of strong painkillers available has risen from 11 in 1992 to 70 in 2007.
In Ireland prescription pills offences far outstrip those for heroin, cocaine and cannabis. Of 1,500 arrests for drug-dealing in Dublin city centre between September and December 2011 just 60 were for selling drugs such as heroin and cocaine.
Celebrities who have died of overdose include Michael Jackson, Heath Ledger and Jimi Hendrix.