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More People Dying From Drug Abuse

A new study has found that more people in the United States are dying from drug abuse. The drugs involved include prescription and illegal drugs. In some demographic groups, deaths from "accidental poisonings" are more than ten times higher than they were in the late 1960s.

The numbers of deaths from accidental poisoning is higher in almost every demographic, especially among white Americans. The study was led by Dr. Richard Miech, the head of Health of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver. The study examined data from both the U.S. Census and a register that tracks the number of deaths from various causes. With these two sources of information, the researchers could determine the percentage of people and the demographics that died from drug accidental poisonings each year.

The study discovered that white men and women were more than nine times as likely to die from an accidental poisoning than they were in the late 1960s. Black men and women were about three times more likely to die from an accidental poisoning in recent years than in the late 1960s. According to a government report released in 2004, almost fifty percent of Americans take a drug prescribed by their physicians. That means that there are more drugs available and the possibility of abuse and addiction is greatly increased.

"You can, in fact, overdose on prescription meds just as easily as you can overdose on illegal drugs," said Theodore Cicero, who studies drug abuse at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. "Addiction is addiction no matter what the drug source is. That message has not yet come across."

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