SURGE IN METHADONE DEATHS LINKED TO ITS USE FOR PAIN

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http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1059479955262070.xml

Deaths in Oregon from the use of methadone, a narcotic painkiller and heroin substitute, have quadrupled in four years, health officials told the Oregonian.

The rising toll reflects a sharp increase in use and abuse of the low-cost opiate by chronic pain patients, they say.

Last year, 103 Oregonians died of methadone-related causes, compared with 23 in 1999. That is more deaths than caused by any other narcotic, including heroin.

“We’re seeing essentially a mini-epidemic of methadone deaths,” said one medical expert.

Link: http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1059479955262070.xml

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