Texas Has A Significant Amount of Unaccounted for Prescription Drug Related Deaths
(EMAILWIRE.COM, May 27, 2015 ) Dallas, TX -- A joint investigation conducted by the Houston Chronicle a Texas Department of State Health Services data does not account for overdose related deaths to all prescription drugs, only certain painkillers. The investigators reported that the data does not include information from medical examiners who have conducted drug screenings identifying many unaccounted for overdoses.
Texas' current method of tracking overdose cases undercounts deaths in a multitude of major counties across Texas. It was also discovered Addiction and Recovery in Dallas, TXDrug and Alcohol Rehab in Dallas, TX that this tracking method also does not include deaths induced by multiple medications or prescription drugs mixed with alcohol or other illegal substances.
Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the health services department claims that the agency is not attempting to "obscure" the numbers. "We are in public health and we have no reason to undercount the problem," said Williams. She also stated that there is no death certificate code which is capable of catching all prescription overdoses.
Medical reports from Harris, Travis, Dallas, Tarrant, and El Paso counties, in addition to some smaller counties, attribute more deaths to prescription drug related overdoses than the state has accounted for in opioid related overdoses.
According to the health services department, in the year 2013, only 622 deaths were blamed on opioids, a vast majority were blamed on painkillers. However, local medical examiners recorded a total of 798 prescription drug related deaths, this number only represents 17 of the 254 counties in Texas.
Bob Anderson, chief of mortality statistics for the National Center for Health Statistics at The Center for Disease Control Prevention, stated that undercounted prescription drug overdose deaths is a nationwide problem. "It's clear we're missing a lot of prescription drug deaths," Anderson said. "It's important to communicate that we need the specificity, we need the detail. If we can't adequately identify which drugs caused the death, we don't know where to focus prevention efforts," stated Anderson.
An associate from Drug and Alcohol Rehab Dallas comments "I am in agreement with Bob Anderson, in effort for awareness to raised about prescription drug related overdose deaths, we need adequate details on what the exact drugs are we need to target and focus on. With increased awareness and an accurate count of prescription related overdose deaths, we can create better prevention initiatives to help reduce overdoses and overdose deaths."
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Drug and Alcohol Rehab Dallas is a leading addiction treatment center in Dallas, TX. The center specializes in providing comprehensive and effective addiction and recovery services to recovering addicts at an affordable price.
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