Drug Poisoning Passes Traffic Accidents as Leading Cause for Injury Deaths


In 2008, poisoning surpassed motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of injury-related death in the United States, according to a report issued by the National Center for Health Statistics and conducted in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 90 percent poisoning fatalities are the result of drugs.

The study, which was released in December 2011, examined drug poisoning deaths from 1980 to 2008. It revealed that drug poisoning deaths have increased sixfold over three decades.

While the research examined fatalities caused by both legal and illicit drugs, opioid analgesics—which include the prescription pharmaceuticals Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet and Dilaudid among others—played a role in more than 40 percent of the drug poisoning deaths in 2008. The CDC estimated that more than 75 percent of the drug poisoning deaths in 2008 were unintentional.

Although patient misuse accounts for a number of these fatalities, dangerous prescription drugs have in recent years increasingly ended up in the hands of individuals who use them as directed and still suffer their deadly effects. From 2007 to 2008, about half of all Americans were using at least one prescription drug, according to the CDC.

Meanwhile, millions of lawsuits in recent years have targeted pharmaceutical manufacturers for failing to provide adequate warnings about the risks of dangerous prescription medication, not conducting adequate testing on potentially hazardous prescription drugs, and concealing research regarding the possible adverse side-effects of these medications.

If you believe you were harmed or a family member was killed by a prescription drug that was used as directed, a product liability attorney may be able to help you pursue financial compensation.

Please contact PersonalInjury.com to locate an experienced dangerous drug lawyer near you.