W.Va. heroin overdose deaths in 2012 tripled

donquixoteRx drug overdoses linked to doctors; prescriber names to be sent to prosecutors

http://www.wvgazette.com/article/20141214/GZ01/141219687

But you won’t find the first mention of Heroin mentioned in this article !

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. The state also has the second highest rate of prescription drug use. West Virginia pharmacies fill more than 5 million prescriptions for controlled substances each year.

West Virginia has the highest drug overdose death rate in the nation. The state also has the second highest rate of prescription drug use. West Virginia pharmacies fill more than 5 million prescriptions for controlled substances each year.

Highest use of meds.. in WV.. there is a lot of people that work in the coal mines… hard work plus BLACK LUNG… think that there might be a higher needed for meds ?

Under the 2013 law, the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner must send the names of drug overdose victims to the panel every six months.

From October 2013 through last March, about 150 West Virginians died of drug overdoses, according to the data the panel is now reviewing.

In about half of those deaths, the overdose victims took drugs prescribed legally by doctors or other medical professionals, such as a physician assistants or nurse practioners.  

They did not say they were prescribed for the person that overdosed on ???

The review panel examined each case and flagged 57 deaths that might be related to doctors’ mistakes or wrongdoing. The panel investigated whether doctors prescribed an excessive number of pills, or wrote prescriptions for two or more drugs that can be lethal if combined.

Not all doctors linked to overdose deaths will have their names sent to the medical licensing board and prosecutors. About 30 doctors instead will receive “educational letters,” urging them to use caution when prescribing.

“Maybe they didn’t prescribe anything that, alone, was terrible … or it wasn’t illegal or improper to prescribe the drugs, but they get a letter saying please use the utmost of care and make sure they’re not getting anything else from other prescribers,” Potters said.

The panel also identified pharmacists who could face discipline. Their names will be sent to the pharmacy board, but not to law enforcement. The pharmacists will receive letters from the panel later this month.

“If [people who overdosed] went to multiple doctors and got multiple prescriptions that they ended up dying from, but the one pharmacy filled all the prescriptions, that’s going to be a red flag,” said Mike Goff, who administers the drug monitoring program at the state pharmacy board

3 Responses

  1. 3/26/2014, As coal fades in West Virginia, drugs fill void

    http://america.aljazeera.com/features/2014/3/as-coal-fades-inwestvirginiadrugsfillthevoid.html

    “Out of West Virginia’s 55 counties, McDowell has the highest drug overdose death rate. It’s an infamous claim to fame that overshadows its other high rankings, for binge drinking and suicide…

    McDowell residents are self-medicating, McGuire said

    A decade ago, the escape of choice was alcohol for out-of-work miners, which meant teachers saw among students mostly cases of domestic violence. But the advent of prescription pill addiction has been a game changer, she said.”

  2. Wonder how many diagnosed with Black Lung and on some sort of state assistance were prescribed Methadone because its cheap and the only one on the state formulary when they shouldn’t have been with decreased respiratory function?? I guess instead of changing the state formulary, they’re sending letters instead…..

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