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Overdoses of Prescription Drugs Are Leading Cause of ER Visits in LA

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Photo by e-MagineArt.com via Flickr
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According to a new report released by LA County's public health director Dr. Jonathan Fielding, the number one cause of visits to the emergency room in the county is overdoses on prescription drugs.

NBC Los Angeles reports that additionally, prescription drug overdoses have accounted for 60% of drug-related deaths each year since 2000. On top of that, the number of people seeking treatment for prescription drug addiction doubled over the past five years.

In other words, LA has a problem with prescription pills.

The problem seems to start young -- the report found that 11% of 9th graders and 14% of 11th graders had popped prescription pills recreationally. To address the issue, Fielding suggested drug buy-backs, school-based education and education for families, and more structured pain management.