While deaths due to overdoses of prescription drugs continue to decline in Florida, law enforcement officials are trying to control the use of dangerous substances being disguised as other products and sold over the counter — synthetic drugs commonly known as bath salts.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Thursday issued a report by Florida’s medical examiners that shows drugs present in the bodies of people who died of overdoses. Such reports are issued regularly, but for the first time deaths caused by synthetic drugs are included.
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Highlights of report
- Prescription drug overdoses have declined by 23 percent and Oxycodone overdoses have declined by 61 percent in the past three years.
- More than 94,000 deaths occurred in Florida during the first six months of 2013, and drugs were present in 4,159 of them.
- More than one drug was found in nearly 94 percent of the 4,159 people.
- Deaths from prescription drugs outranked deaths from illicit drugs.
- The drugs that caused the most deaths were all benzodiazepines, anti-anxiety drugs such as Valium and Xanax (568), alcohol (302), cocaine (291), oxycodone (279), morphine (268), methadone (221) and hydrocodone (158).