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Floridians Love Overdosing On Prescription Drugs, Especially Benzos

Deaths in Florida caused by oxycodone dropped nearly 18 percent, yet the pain drug remains one of the top killers in the state, according to a report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The report, released Wednesday, shows that deaths from benzodiazepines jumped 13 percent in 2011 and were the drugs that caused the most deaths for the year. The popular class of anti-anxiety meds includes Xanax and Klonopin.

So what else does the drug death report show?


"Prescription drugs continue to be found more often than illicit drugs as the cause of death in Floridians," the FDLE notes. "Excluding alcohol-related deaths, prescription drugs account for 86.5 percent of all drug occurrences."

Overall, in 2011 there were 9,135 drug-related deaths, up from 9,001 the year before. Deaths from people going overboard with the Bolivian marching powder jumped 7.7 percent, according to the report.

As for the more than 1,200 oxy-realted deaths, 16 percent were suicides, 67 percent were accidental (whoops), 12 percent were natural, 3 percent were homicide (what?), and authorities couldn't determine the rest.

The FDLE also ranked the most harmful drugs of the year: Heroin took the top spot, followed by methadone, oxycodone, fentanyl (another pain drug), and Xanax.

As always, no mention of marijuana because, well, marijuana is harmless. Meanwhile, there were 590 deaths linked to booze.



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Chris Sweeney

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