Health

Drugs No. 1 Cause of Preventable Deaths

Deaths resulting from drugs are now greater than traffic fatalities in the United States, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. In 2009, drugs were responsible for the deaths of more than 37,485 people—which equals one person killed every 14 minutes. Many of the deaths are related to prescription pain and anxiety medications, which are readily accessible and often misused, and these types of drugs now cause more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. Overdose victims' ages range from teenagers to the elderly, and the reason for taking the prescription medication can range from a desire to get high, underestimating the risk of the drugs, to simply getting addicted after a serious accident. Drug-induced deaths are mostly considered accidental, but they also include suicides and fatal diseases caused by drugs.