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Prescription pain killers involved in more drug overdose deaths than cocaine or heroin in the US

dividuals with psychiatric conditions rather than pain patients.

Joranson and Gilson also point to the large quantity of opioid analgesics stolen from pharmacies every year, saying that "overdose deaths involving prescription medications do not necessarily mean they were prescribed. It is also crucial to know that most overdose deaths involve several drugs and these data cannot attribute the cause to a particular drug."

In a second commentary, Scott Fishman, Professor of Anaesthesiology and Pain Medicine at University of California, Davis concludes that drug abuse and under treated pain are both public health crises, but the solution to one need not undermine the other. "The least we can do is make sure that the casualties of the war on drugs are not suffering patients who legitimately deserve relief," he says.


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Contact: Polly Young
pyoung@wiley.co.uk
44-124-377-0633
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
23-Jul-2006


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