ED admissions for prescription drug problems up again in 2009

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted Jan. 24, 2011

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The number of people admitted to emergency departments for abusing, misusing and having adverse reactions to prescription drugs in 2009 continued to increase faster than those admitted for abusing illegal drugs. That's according to a Dec. 28, 2010, report by the Drug Abuse Warning Network, a data-collection project of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Adverse reactions to prescription drugs were the leading cause of drug-related ED admissions in 2009, with 2.29 million -- 130,000 more than in 2008 and nearly twice as many as in 2005. Abuse or misuse of pharmaceuticals was the second-leading reason for such admissions in 2009, with more than 1.24 million, or 117,000 more than in 2008. Illicit drug misuse, the third-leading cause, was linked to 970,000 admissions in 2009, or nearly 20,000 fewer than in 2008. The DAWN report is available online (link).

Note: This item originally appeared at

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