TREASURE ISLAND, Fla., – Prescription painkillers are a leading cause of death and have surpassed the amount of deaths caused by automobile accidents and firearms in the U.S. according to a new report published last week.
More than 92,000 overdoses were caused by prescription pain medication costing hospitals an estimated $1.4 billion the JAMA(Journal of the American Medical Association) Internal Medicine report concluded.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, prescription painkiller abuse is a growing and deadly epidemic.
Florida is no stranger to the prescription drug abuse problem. In a separate report issued last year by Trust for America’s Health, Florida was ranked as the 11th highest state for the drug overdose mortality rate. That report also indicated that only one in 10 Americans with a substance abuse disorder sought treatment.
“These statistics are staggering and hopefully by getting this information out there, more people will understand how important it is to seek professional help,” said Dr. Christopher Gleis, medical director of Footprints Beachside Recovery Center. “While we offer treatment for all types of substance abuse, the majority of our patients seek treatment for opioid abuse or addiction.”
Opioid addiction recovery can be very challenging and it usually requires medical intervention due to the violent withdrawal symptoms.
The JAMA Internal Medicine report was based on a study conducted by researchers from Brown University, Rush Medical College, Stanford University and the University of Pennsylvania. Those researchers analyzed data from the 2010 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample to generate national estimates.
Founded in 2008, Footprints Beachside Recovery Center is a drug and alcohol treatment facility located in Pinellas County, Fla. In addition to treating patients from throughout the U.S. and around the world, Footprints provides Florida clinicians with continuing education events and hosts community workshops on addiction related treatment and psychoeducation.