prescription drug ODs

Brent Finnegan -- September 17th, 2007

The Roanoke Times ran a story yesterday about the rise of fatal prescription drug overdoses in western Virginia.

The region had 264 fatal drug overdoses in 2006, according to the state medical examiner’s office. That’s a 22 percent increase from 2005 — and a 294 percent increase from a decade ago. Most of the deaths were from prescription drug abuse.

According to The Times, prescription drug abuse is most prevalent in Virginia’s southwestern coal mining communities, where overdoses “accounted for 40 percent of the state’s total drug overdose deaths, even though the area contains just 20 percent of the population.”

Although the report focused on far southwestern Virginia, OxyContin, and methadone, the area in the study includes Harrisonburg and Rockingham.

TV3 also ran a drug-related story today — only this one is about the $90,000 of cocaine police seized in Shenandoah County.

18 Responses to “prescription drug ODs”

  1. Dave Briggman says:

    Wait, you mean legal, prescription drugs? No, say it ain’t so.

    What about the half-million who die from tobacco and the other half-million who die from “legal” drugs like alcohol and tobacco?

    Where’s all of the cocaine and pot overdoses which make those drugs do “evil”?

  2. Fred says:

    Who ever heard of a pot overdose? I think its impossible.

  3. Dave Briggman says:

    Of course, it’s impossible…to everyone except those fighting the “drug war”.

  4. Marty says:

    @Dave Briggman

    *golf clap*

  5. anon says:

    what is a golf clap?

  6. King Richard says:

    Golf Clap is a serious mental handicapp. Unfortunately for us all, briggman is badly infected, he thinks our goverment is responsible for 9-11.

  7. Dave Briggman says:

    Actually, DICK, what I believe is that our government was complicit is the events of 9/11. I merely posed the question on the radio this morning on WSVA as to what is MORE believable:

    (1) a 6’6″ giant in a cave in Afghanistan creating a plan that included breaching airport security a 4 airports; successfully hijacking 4 aircraft; flying 3 of 4 into their targets – ostensibly without interference by military aircraft, including Andrews AFB less than 10 miles from the Pentagon all of which left no discernable traces of aircraft larger than 1 sqft, but miraculously found unblemished ids of many of the hijackers – although none of them were on airline manifests and 8 of them have been interviewed by mainstream media since 9/11.

    don’t know, DICK, you believe a guy in a cave is able to plan and successfully execute such a plan?

    Can you explain the successful penetration of this country’s air defenses?

  8. King Richard says:

    briggman, the name is King Richard, not DICK. You do not have to go down to a 3rd grade level (by calling people names) to get your point across, or DO YOU?
    The subject in this thread is prescription drugs. Have you been taking yours as prescribed? Try & stick to the subject.

  9. Dave Briggman says:

    Umm, DICK, I think you brought 9/11 up, not me.

    My experience with you has been that a 3rd grader’s vocabulary is the maximum level of conversation that you’re able to fully comprehend…that a limitation on your part, DICK, not mine.

  10. Dave Briggman says:

    Hey, DICK:

    Frank Witt wants you to go play on his blog…since no one reads it, it would probably be a great place for you to improve your computer skills.


  11. finnegan says:

    Stop. It.

    I will start deleting any more childish off-topic comments. First and final warning.

  12. Marty says:


    How do you not know what a golf clap is? It’s not a full clap, it’s a small, quiet clap in recognition of something.

  13. kai says:

    Delete away, finnegan.

  14. David Miller says:

    This story was also in the DNR this morning (day late). When I read it I was amazed to believe that the 200 of the 264 deaths were due to overdoses of legal drugs. 24% of deaths due to overdose were illicitly purchased. Drug companies have really pulled some wool over our eyes, or maybe I’m just jumping to conclusions.

  15. JGFitzgerald says:

    Theme for a blogitarian
    (with heartfelt apologies to Eddy Arnold)

    Please delete me, let me go.
    I’m not civil any more.
    To flame my neighbors is a sin.
    Delete me, don’t let me blog again.

    Please delete me, let me go.
    I’ll trash you if you disagree.
    Now I am only calling names.
    Delete me, pour water on my flames.

  16. finnegan says:

    Back to the topic of this post…

    From today’s DNR: local lawyer Walter Green was indicted for obtaining medication by forging or altering a prescription.

  17. JGFitzgerald says:

    Separating the issues:

    Johnny Cash, Jerry Lewis, Betty Ford — just some of the people who suffered from addiction to painkillers. Said illness is one of the first things that came to mind when I saw the Green story in the DNR. I suppose the action has to be treated as a crime because … well, because that’s what we do.

    Green’s an interesting fellow. Once upon a time, about fifteen years ago, when I was city editor at the DNR, Green came walking into the newsroom one day when ice was falling from the sky, two critical pieces of equipment were broken, and the staff was decimated by a flu bug. He was there to announce that he was the subject of a grand jury investigation. Nothing came of the investigation, but it was the only time in twelve years in daily journalism that I got a story of that type in that fashion. After that, I always thought of attorney Green as news on the hoof. On a slow day, we could always ask what he was up to.

    I hope he comes through this OK.

  18. Fred says:

    There is a new federal law coming down the pike that makes it mandatory for physicians to use tamper-proof Rx pads in order for pharmacists to get paid by certain third party payors. Currently it only applies to SOME Medicaid plans and does not effect any other third party plan.

    Sounds awfully limited in scope to me. But since so many people in southwestern VA are on medicaid, maybe the government is actually targeting the right population.

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