What will kill more people this year than AIDS, H1N1, and illegal drugs combined? For Canada, it’s prescription painkillers. But where’s the media frenzy? From the Globe and Mail:
Painkillers are causing twice the number of overdose deaths in Ontario than they were two decades ago, a precedent-setting study has found. Most of the people…got them through a prescription and had seen a doctor in the month before they died.
The study found prescription opioids kill, on average, 300 people in Ontario each year. HIV/AIDS, by comparison, kills 100 people annually; H1N1 has killed 100 people in Ontario so far. Other illicit drugs cause few overdose deaths by comparison.
“The perception, if you watch the movies, is that people inject heroin and die,” Dr. Dhalla said. “In Ontario there are far more deaths from prescription opioids than heroin. Deaths from illicit drug use without prescription opioids are relatively rare.”