Thursday, January 04, 2007

Licit drug abuse and death

I haven’t seen our year-end numbers yet, but I would agree with some of the points made in a post at Anxiety, Addiction and Depression Treatments.

We do have a significant number of young people die of drug overdose here in Lake County and a significant number who die from illicit drugs. Cocaine continues to ride high (so to speak) and, particularly in the last few months, we have had a spike (small but real) in fentanyl related deaths (knowing abuse and those that thought they were getting heroin).

We seem to be seeing an increasing number of deaths related to licit drugs. Most of those deaths appear to be accidental over-use or related to a bad synergistic combination of drugs, but we have seen some recreational use of prescription drugs. Most deaths related to licit drugs are in folks who are “older”, which seems to be true elsewhere (median age 45). (Even a judge on the Supreme Court can fall victim to overuse, here and here) But we need to keep in mind that while it appears we have made inroads nationwide in cutting the use of illicit drugs in young and old, the abuse and over-use of licit drugs seems to be on the increase.

That really must become a target of information/warning and education about the dangers and possible lethal outcomes of over-use and abuse.

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