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GIF Shows Rapid Growth of Prescription Drug Epidemic

“The death rate associated with drug poisoning has increased by roughly 300% over the past 3 decades and is now the leading cause of injury death in the U.S. Approximately 90% of poisoning deaths are attributable to illicit or licit drugs, and prescription drugs account for the majority of drug overdose deaths. The increase in deaths associated with drug poisoning over the past few decades parallels an increase in the use of prescription drugs, most notably opioid analgesics. Reports from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health indicate that approximately 2.1% of the U.S. population aged Z12 years has used prescription pain relievers nonmedically (without a prescription) in the past month, representing more than 5 million Americans.” — Trends and Geographic Patterns in Drug-Poisoning Death Rates in the U.S., 1999–2009

I wanted to share this visual representation of the plague-like growth of drug poisonings. The statistics are shocking. Who do you think is to blame?

Image Source: CDC Drug poisoning mortality statistics. Graphic by Alex Newman. Via Al Jazeera America.