Prescription drugs are No. 1 cause of injury death: report


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Denver – Poisonings from prescription drugs led all causes of injury death in the United States in 2012, according to according to a report from the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center in Denver.

Using National Poison Control Center data, researchers found that pharmaceutical products – including opioid painkillers and cardiovascular and antidepressant medications – accounted for 83 percent of poisonings resulting in death in 2012.

Prescription opioid exposures by children more than doubled from 2,591 to 5,541 from 2002 to 2012.

Meanwhile, laundry detergent pods, “bath salts” (designer drugs), energy drinks and synthetic marijuana are newer sources of poisonings, the report states. Bath salt poisonings peaked in 2011 with 6,137 exposures and 31 deaths but declined to 994 exposures and 16 deaths in 2012.

Carbon monoxide led all non-pharmaceutical agents resulting in poisoning deaths (54).

Poison control centers recorded 2.3 million poison exposures in 2012; of those, 2,937 resulted in death.

The study was published Dec. 14 in Annals of Emergency Medicine.