Oregon 21st among states in drug overdose deaths

Deaths from prescription drug abuse now outnumber those from heroin and cocaine combined — according to a national study released Monday by the Trust for America's Health.

More Oregonians die from prescription drug overdoses now, than from car crashes.

Over the last 14 years, the state's overdose death rate has more than doubled.

Rich Hamburg of Trust for America's Health says men tend to abuse drugs more than women, but the problem is widespread.

"Some of it is abusing these drugs and getting them from other sources, you know parties, that kind of thing. And some of it is just self-medicating."

The study found that the abuse of prescription painkillers costs the country more than $50 billion dollars a year in lost productivity, health care and prison time.

The study also recommends 10 prevention policies. Oregon has already implemented eight of them.

— Oregon Public Broadcasting

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.