A new study has found that overdoses of prescription painkillers now kill more people in the U.S. each year than auto accidents do, and they have become the leader in preventable deaths in this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fatal overdoses from prescription medication more than tripled to 13,800 from 1999 to 2006 in the U.S. Recent data suggest that overdoses have nearly tripled again since 2006, with at least 37,485 people killed in 2009 from taking powerful painkillers such as OxyContin, Xanax, Vicodin and others. James O. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury attorneys are especially concerned that our state is now being called the “epicenter” of this abuse. Recently, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has indicted dozens of physicians and operators of clinics for unnecessarily prescribing these potentially lethal drugs.
Millions of Floridians take prescription medication to reduce the effects of countless medical conditions. Pharmaceutical companies spend billions in marketing this or that drug in magazines, television, billboards and other outlets telling consumers how effective the drug is at alleviating a wide range of symptoms. But a glance at the front page of any newspaper will tell you that these prescriptions are not always safe. This Orlando Sentinel article sheds light on how dangerous some of these drugs can be.