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Prescription Drug Abuse and Overdose Death is Up in Texas

Law enforcement and government officials across the country have been fighting to stem the growing tide of prescription drug abuse, which has rapidly crossed over all age groups to reach epidemic levels. Texas addiction rehab needs indicate that the state is no exception to this crisis. Sadly, the problem may run even deeper than it appears, based on data uncovered by local media.

Why the numbers are misleading

Texas newspapers Houston Chronicle and Austin American-Statesman conducted a joint investigation into prescription drug overdose deaths as reported by the Texas Department of State Health Services. According to their findings, these deaths are tracked selectively to include only certain types of painkillers.

The state’s data often omits cases of deaths that involve multiple medications or substances, such as painkillers combined with alcohol. As a result, their statistics differ sharply from reports of medical examiners in Harris, Dallas, El Paso and other counties, where drug screens reveal considerably more deaths attributable to prescription drugs.

What this means for Texas addiction rehab

Department spokesperson Carrie Williams denies that the state is intentionally trying to soft-pedal the problem by undercounting. She attributes the difference to a flaw in reporting, with no death certificate code that captures all cases of prescription overdoses.

According to Bob Anderson, chief of mortality statistics at the National Center for Health Statistics of the Center for Disease Control Prevention, this problem exists in other states as well. He adds that accurate reporting is needed so focus on treatment and prevention can be placed in the appropriate areas.

Are you or a loved one struggling with a dependence on painkillers or other prescription drugs? Our caring, multi-disciplinary team of experts at Transitions Recovery will craft a personalized treatment program that addresses your individual needs. Visit our website or call 1-800-626-1980 to learn more about our Miami-based rehab facility.