Trend of Drug Overdoses in the United States.
While the interpretation of the data is somewhat imprecise and makes many assumptions and condensations, it is still shows a very concerning trend.
Of course, prescribed medications plays a large part of this picture. As my attendings often say: “we, as healthcare providers, are the single largest supplier of medications, appropriately used and abused.”
Most of those within the pharmaceuticals category had unknown intent but a strikingly large number exacted unintentional self-harm. This is from such issues as drug interactions, improper dosing, improper medications et cetera. Death in this portion, perhaps greater than any other category here, is an avoidable outcome.
What can we do as a health care system to curb this growing trend in prescribed pharmaceuticals? Is it a simple matter of education and systematic checks or can we do more? Discuss below.