Drug addiction has been a problem for decades, but new research suggests that it may be on the rise as a result of prescription medication. As doctors continue to prescribe new drugs to treat common ailments, more patients are growing dependent on these substances, according to Reuters.
Richard Miech, the lead author and head of Health and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, told the news source that accidental poisonings as a result of drug overdoses have increased dramatically since the 1960s. Rates are 10 times higher than they were during the rise of the Baby Boomers.
Miech and his colleagues analyzed U.S. Census data to compile their findings. Caucasian men and women were nine times more likely to die due to accidental poisoning between 2005 and 2007, compared to 1968 and 1969. African-American men and women were three times more likely to die within this time frame, in comparison to more than 40 years ago.
In 2006, more than 703,000 emergency room visits were linked to unintentional poisoning, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public drug education can help individuals understand the dangers that come with consuming prescribed medication.