Death by overdose
From the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I’m Ira Dreyfuss with HHS HealthBeat.
Deaths by overdose have been pushing up the rates of poisoning deaths in the United States – so much so that poisoning has a grisly new prominence as a cause of injury death.
At the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Lois Fingerhut has been tracking the numbers:
``Poisoning has been rising rapidly as a cause of death, and in 2004 they overtook firearms as the second leading cause of injury death and remained that way in 2005.’’ (11 seconds)
The epidemiologist says an increase in overdoses drives much of the increase in poisoning deaths. About 70 percent of the poisoning deaths were by drug overdose.
The leading cause of injury deaths remains motor vehicle crashes. But Fingerhut says safety initiatives such as seat belt and speed limit enforcement have stemmed the increase there.
Learn more at hhs.gov.
HHS HealthBeat is a production of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I’m Ira Dreyfuss.
Last revised: May 7, 2011