2012 Community Profile
Risk Factors, Adults
Risk Factors for Prescription Drug Overdose Death A study of prescription drug overdose deaths done in West Virginia found that the majority of the decedents were men. Over 56% of the decedents had previously been diagnosed with a mental illness and over 42% of them had been prescribed medications for chronic pain. Psychoactive drugs such as stimulants, depressants, and hallucinogens contributed to 49% of the deaths. Benzodiazepines or sedatives and anti-anxiety medications contributed to 37% of the deaths. Chart 17.
Source: Mental Illness and psychotropic drug use among prescription drug overdose deaths: a medical examiner chart review, Toblin et.al, J of Clinical Psychology, April 7, 2010.
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Agency