Drugs involved in drug overdose deaths

2019 October 28

With about 60,000 people dying every year from opioid overdose, the Opioid Crisis in the USA is casting a shadow on access to pain relief as well as on management of dependence to opioids. General perceptions about the issue seem to be more sensationalist rather than based on facts.

What are the drugs in question? Are they illegal drugs in the market which are not available for medical use, like heroin? Or are they pain medications? If the latter, are they prescribed opioids (legally prescribed and diverted)? Or are they illegally accessed prescription opioids – meaning, drugs which are among those prescribed by doctors but which are also available illegally?

The recent data from Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States of America sheds light on this.

Most importantly, it is a mix. A prescription opioid, Fentanyl, and an illegal drug (in USA), heroin, are among the most common.

The following is a list of medicines that cause the most deaths. Note that Gabapentin is one of them.


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