LA is now coming clean about their prescription drug overdose problem. In a recent Huffington Post report, they point out some amazing statistics:
- In 2009, there were 5,382 emergency room visits and 3,048 hospitalizations for prescription drug overdose.
- More than 60 percent of drug-related deaths in the city between 2000 and 2009 were caused by prescription drug overdose.
- Publicly-funded rehab programs reported that the number of people checking in for prescription drug abuse doubled between 2005 and 2010.
- Drug-induced deaths now exceed all other causes of injury death nationally, including deaths from car accidents and firearms, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
- In LA County, 11 percent of 9th graders, 14 percent of 11th graders, and 37 percent of students in continuation or alternative high schools reported misuse of prescription drugs at least once.
- In 2010, an estimated 2.4 million Americans used prescription drugs nonmedically for the first time within the past year, which averages to approximately 6,600 initiates per day.
I wonder if, during those hospitalizations, the nursing staff had to follow the strict Joint Commission guidelines and ask whether these patients had their pain under control and/or needed more medication?