Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oxycodone is the leading cause of drug overdose deaths locally

Oxycodone was the leading cause of drug overdose deaths in Sarasota, Manatee and Desoto counties in the first half of 2010, according to an interim report issued Thursday.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement and Florida Medical Examiners released the report examining approximately 89,800 deaths in Florida between January and June of this year.

Out of those deaths, 4,150 people were found to have died with one or more drugs in their bodies.

Drugs that were ruled as the cause of death in the 12thMedical Examiner District, which includes Manatee County, are as follows:

  • Oxycodone:  46 deaths
  • Alprazolam:  38 deaths
  • Methadone: 25 deaths
  • Cocaine: 20 deaths
  • Diazepam:  11 deaths
  • Morphine: 5 deaths
  • Hydrocodone:  4 deaths
  • Propoxyphene: 1 death
  • Heroin: 1 death

Statewide, the drugs that caused the most deaths were Oxycodone (715); all Benzodiazepines (597); which includes Alprazolam, also known as Xanax, (439) accounting for a majority of deaths; Methadone (336); Ethyl Alcohol (270); and cocaine (250), according to a released statement.

“Medical Examiners Commission report for the first six months of 2010 continues to show the lethal consequences of the diversion and abuse of prescription drugs,” said Bruce Grant, director of the Governor's Office of Drug Control in a released statement.  “This new drug crisis rivals the crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s. We must get agencies at all levels of government along with our communities and our medical professionals to step up and take action.”

In many cases multiple drugs were found in decedents' bodies, according to report, showing people sometimes died from a combination of drugs. 

Statewide, heroin is the most lethal drug in the report, however, cases decreased by 40 percent compared to the last six months of 2009. Occurrences of Oxycodone increased by 10.9 percent for the same time period, according to the report.


  1. Just a thought, but if more doctors investigated non-prescription alternatives to a lot of these drugs out there today, there may not be as much of a need to prescribe the drugs being abused ! Alternative therapies exist on every part of the planet for just about every disease or sickness out there ! The problem is getting the FDA to stop lambasting these therapies as ineffective ! One would think the FDA was in bed with the pharmaceutical giants !! Hmmmm......

  2. Yeah, personal responsibility has nothing to do with it. Neither does drug seeking behavior. Nobody needs to take responsibility for their own lives or medications that they put inside their own bodies. The doctors force it down people's throats. That's why this is America! Nobody needs to take personal responsibility anymore right?