Friday, April 3, 2009

Overdoses lead motor vehicle accident fatalities in OH


The Ohio Department of Health says drug overdoses now top car crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the state.

A newly released department report shows unintentional deaths from drug and medication-related poisoning exceeded traffic fatalities in 2006 and again in 2007.

The department says illegal drugs such as heroin play a big role but that prescription pain medicines are responsible for the increases.

The Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities highlighted the statistic Thursday at a news conference in Columbus to promote continued funding for substance abuse programs.

The association says that every dollar spent on drug and alcohol abuse treatment saves $11 on health care and involvement by the criminal justice system.
The report has some great numbers in it -- like, unintentional poisonings (96% of which come from drugs and medications) grew 249% between 1999 and 2006 versus motor vehicle crashes declining 11% over that same period. Suicides, homicides, firearm accidents, and falls all saw increases in mortality over the same period.

Short story: more people are dying, but the roads are safer.

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