New Jersey doctors had already been forewarned that prescription-drug addiction has been ravaging the state – yesterday, they learned the grim details.
Prescription drugs were implicated in the deaths of more than 700 state residents in both 2011 and 2012, according to statistics released by Dr. Roger Mitchell, the New Jersey assistant state medical examiner.
He contrasted that number with the 75 deaths caused by Hurricane Sandy last year.
“The question is, are we stronger than this storm?” Mitchell said of the overdose epidemic as he spoke yesterday at an event for heathcare professionals held at Hackensack University Medical Center.
The number of drug deaths in the state rose from 843 in 2010 to 1,027 in 2011 and 1,188 in 2013. The number of deaths caused by prescription drugs alone over the three years varied from 402 in 2010 to 470 in 2011 and 460 in 2012, while the instances in which deaths were caused by a combination of prescription and illicit drugs rose from 180 in 2010 to 231 in 2011 and 262 in 2012.
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