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PILL-DRINK COCKTAILS TOP KILLER.

Byline: RICHIE TAYLOR

NEW figures reveal drug-related deaths involving antidepressants and methadone are soaring.

Statistics show that legal substances, including alcohol and tranquilisers, along with methadone and antidepressants, are all involved in most drug deaths. In 2008 there were 524 drug-related deaths, some 293 of which were direct poisonings from one or more drugs. The typical age for victims of poisoning deaths was 35, although there were 13 deaths among 15-19 year olds, and 30 in the 20-24 age group.

The statistics, compiled by the Health Research Board, shows that prescription tranquilisers continue to be involved in most deaths (117).

Other prescription drugs were linked to 59 deaths, down from 62 in 2007. Alcohol was involved in 70 deaths, a drop from 85.

The index shows the number of poisonings rose most in Dublin. Outside the capital, the south-east accounted for the most deaths (34, up from 28 in 2007). Daithi Doolan of CityWide Drugs Crisis Campaign said the involvement of prescription drugs is so many deaths raised "serious questions" about prescription practices.
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Feb 6, 2011
Words:173
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