Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Prescription drug overdose deaths kill 100 Americans a day in ‘man-made epidemic’
On August 5, 2012, in Prescription Drug Abuse, by Jerry Mitchell
Heath Ledger. Brittany Murphy. Anna Nicole Smith. Michael Jackson.
Garrett Reid, left, next to his father, Andy Reid.
All were celebrities, and all died ofprescription drug overdoses.
And now Garrett Reid, the son of Philadelphia Eagles football coach Andy Reid, who had been addicted to prescription drugs and was found dead Sunday, could be added to their list.
According to his probation report, he used prescription opioid painkillers, Percocet and OxyContin, before graduating to cocaine and heroin. By age 20, he was in rehab.
“For every Heath Ledger that dies, there are many more that never make the headlines,” said Marshall Fisher, executive director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics. “Almost everybody knows somebody who has been touched by this.”
Each day a 100 Americans die of a drug overdose — most of them from prescription painkillers. In Florida alone, six people die a day from these overdoses.
“If six dolphins washed up in a single day on the Florida coast, it would make national headlines,” Fisher said. “What about for people?”
Read The Clarion-Ledger‘s stories on the problems of prescription drug abuse in both Mississippi and the U.S.