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Prescription Drug Deaths

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The Utah Department of Health is accelerating its timely campaign to reverse one of the most disturbing trends in contemporary culture: Utahns in record numbers are dying, mostly unintentionally, because they are misusing prescription pain medications.

In 2007, the number of deadly unintended prescription pain medication overdoses was 317. The number has been increasing every year recently.

These are not stereotypical drug addicts, nor are they individuals who use drugs for recreation. Mostly, they are people dealing with legitimate health issues who take larger doses of medications than prescribed, unwittingly mix prescribed medications, or self-medicate without knowing the full implications of what they're doing.

In short, these are deaths that never should occur. They are preventable. That is the message health officials are trying to get out. In KSL's view, it is a message that needs to be shouted loud and clear.

-Never take prescription pain medications that are not prescribed to you!

-Do not take more doses than prescribed by your doctor!

-Never mix with alcohol!

-Do not mix sleep aids or anti-anxiety medications together with prescription drugs!

-Keep medications locked in a safe place!

-Dispose of any unused medications!

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