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Cnds. overdose on painkillers more than narcotics

Written by: QMI Agency
 

Jun. 19, 2014

More Canadians overdose on painkillers than heroin and cocaine combined: Study (Fotolia)


 

The number of deaths in Canada and the U.S. involving prescription painkillers is higher than overdose deaths from heroin and cocaine combined, a new study from Montreal researchers has found.

"We also wanted to find out why thousands of people in the U.S and Canada are dying from prescription painkillers every year," McGill University researcher Nicholas King said in a release about the study Thursday.

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During a review of existing studies, they found 17 different reasons for the increase in painkiller deaths. This including "dramatically increased" prescription and sales of opioids, increased use of strong, long-lasting opioids like Oxycontin and methadone; and the combined use of opioids and alcohol and other drugs (licit and illicit).

"We found little evidence that Internet sales of pharmaceuticals and errors by doctors and patients - factors commonly cited in the media - have played a significant role," he noted.

The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

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