Prescription opioids kill about 300 people yearly - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Prescription opioids kill about 300 people yearly

Posted: Updated:

GREEN BAY (AP) -- Prescription opioids claimed the lives of about 300 people each year from 2006 to 2012.

That's according to data from the state Department of Health Services, obtained by Gannett Wisconsin Media.

Opioids are narcotic drugs like OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin typically used for pain relief and contain a synthetic form of opium, the core ingredient in heroin. They are the primary gateway to heroin use.

Between 297 and 329 people died from prescription opioids each year from 2006 to 2012, as heroin deaths rose five-fold. All but six counties reported at least one opioid death.

Louis Oppor, a substance abuse expert with the state health department, says it's not clear how many deaths were related to non-medical drug abuse and how many to accidental overdoses.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WKOW. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Anna Engelhart at 608-661-2767. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.