Report: States lack strategies to curb prescription drug overdoses

October 8, 2013
McClatchy via Kansas City Star

 — Prescription-drug overdose deaths have risen sharply in recent years, and a majority of states are not implementing the best strategies to curb them, according to a new report from a health-care advocacy group.

The report from the Washington-based Trust for America’s Health, which was released Monday, found that 28 states – including Alaska, Pennsylvania and Texas – and the District of Columbia had put in place six or fewer out of 10 promising strategies to lessen prescription drug overuse.

According to the report, prescription drugs are now to blame for the majority of fatal drug overdoses in the U.S., surpassing the number of deaths related to heroin and cocaine combined. Since 1999, overdose deaths from all kinds of drugs have at least doubled in 29 states, and in 10 of those – including South Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri and Georgia – the rate has tripled. In Kentucky, the rate has quadrupled.

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