Southern California’s Deadly Prescribers
Drug overdoses from potent painkillers like OxyContin and Vicodin and other prescription drugs now cause more deaths than cocaine and heroin combined. According to the Los Angeles Times, law enforcement officials have not focused enough on the fact that many people overdose on drugs that they obtained with a doctor’s prescription as opposed to drugs obtained on the black market.
The Times bases this claim on an analysis of coroners’ records for 3,733 prescription drugs deaths in Southern California between 2006 and 2011. The analysis found that for nearly 50% of these cases, a drug that was prescribed to the deceased either contributed to or was the sole cause of the overdose.
Coroners’ records show that 71 doctors in Southern California had more than two patients who died from prescription drug overdose. These doctors were mostly pain specialists, psychiatrists …