The Drug Abuse Warning Network tracks emergency department and drug mortality statistics in the United States

(The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Drug Abuse Warning Network ( DAWN ) found that the most common single-drug suicide deaths involved opiates, followed by antidepressants and then cocaine, sedatives and anti-anxiety medications.

DAWN information showed that 7 out of 10 of the suicide deaths involved multiple drugs. The highest rates included combinations of alcohol and antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and opiates, alcohol and opiates, and then antidepressants with opiates. One quarter of the overall deaths in the metropolitan areas and states involved multiple antidepressants.

“What this data shows is what we teach in our education presentations,” comments a supervisor at Narconon Arrowhead, which is one of the nation’s largest and most successful drug rehabilitation and education programs, “that all drugs are basically poisons and that enough of any drug can cause extreme adverse reactions and even death.”

The DAWN study of 32 metropolitan areas and six states also looked for mortality rates for drug abuse. Of the cities that were examined, Baltimore and Albuquerque had the highest rates with more than 200 deaths per million people. Another 14 metropolitan areas had drug misuse death rates that exceeded 100 per 1,000,000.

In the six states, the number of deaths related to drug misuse or abuse ranged from 74 to 697. After adjusting for population differences, the rates of drug misuse/abuse deaths ranged from 88 deaths per 1,000,000 in Maine and New Hampshire to 162 deaths per million in New Mexico.

The Drug Abuse Warning Network is a public health surveillance system that monitors drug-related hospital emergency department visits and drug-related deaths to track the impact of drug use, misuse, and abuse in the U.S.

This survey did not include any deaths from adverse reactions to drugs. Such cases would include the consequences of using a prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceutical for therapeutic purposes and include deaths related to adverse drug reactions, side effects, drug-drug interactions, and drug-alcohol interactions.

Source: Jan.2006

Back to top of page

Powered by WordPress