Drug overdoses were responsible for more deaths than traffic accidents and guns in 2010, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control.
The number of deaths from drug overdoses was 38,329 in 2010, and 30,006 of them were reported as unintentional, according to the Huntington Post.
Car accidents caused 33,687 deaths and firearms caused 31,672 deaths in 2010. The Centers for Disease Control also reported 26,852 people died from falling.
Drug overdose death rates have increased since 1992. Between 1999 and 2010, death from drug overdoses spiked by more than 100 percent.
Prescription pharmaceutical drugs account for 60 percent of drug overdose deaths.
As a result of the increase in overdoses, some drug reformers are pushing to make naloxone, a drug which is used to offset the overdose effects of opiate drugs, more accessible. But just 11 states have laws protecting people who administer naloxone.
Meghan Ralston, harm reduction manager for the Drug Policy Alliance, said she thinks naloxone access laws will help ease drug overdose problems in the U.S. She added that education will also play an important role in decreasing drug overdose death rates.
“But much more is needed, such as integrating overdose prevention into existing drug education programs,” she said.
Source: Huffington Post