Fatal ODs a Complicated Epidemic

Published 06/19 2014 06:05PM

Updated 06/19 2014 06:07PM

A new study looks at why more people are dying from overdoses of prescription painkillers than from heroin and cocaine combined.

Researchers at McGill University say there's little evidence internet sales of drugs and errors by doctors and patients are responsible. Instead, they cite a dramatic increase in prescriptions and sales of narcotics, increased use of strong long-acting opioids like oxycontin and methadone, and the combined use of various drugs and alcohol.

The findings point to a complicated "epidemic" in which physicians, users, the health care system, and the social environment all play a role, according to the researchers. 

The U.S. and Canada are #1 and #2 in the per capita use of opiods.

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