Drug related deaths are bad now - and prescriptions drugs are now a major part of the mix --
"Propelled by an increase in prescription narcotic overdoses, drug deaths now outnumber traffic fatalities in the United States, a Times analysis of government data has found.
Drugs exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing at least 37,485 people nationwide, according to preliminary data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention"
and have been climbing
(2009 - causes of death - emergency room visits) "In 2009, 1.2 million emergency department (ED) visits (an increase of 98.4% since 2004) were related to misuse or abuse of pharmaceuticals, compared with 1.0 million ED visits related to use of illicit drugs such as heroin and cocaine
. (IOW, emergency rooms were hit 2.2 millions times, in 2009 alone, for drug abuse related visits. It sucks to work ERs)
and a chart showing problems in general with hospital reported/ related drug issues -
2000-2010 - death and serious patient outcomes from FDA approved drugs
"These data describe the outcome of the patient as defined in U.S. reporting regulations (21 CFR 310.305, 314.80, 314.98, 600.80) and Forms FDA 3500 and 3500A (the MedWatch forms). Serious means that one or more of the following outcomes were documented in the report: death, hospitalization, life-threatening, disability, congenital anomaly and/or other serious outcome. Documenting one or more of these outcomes in a report does not necessarily mean that the suspect product(s) named in the report was the cause of these outcomes."
(Editor's Note: These data show "deaths" totaling 452,780 and "serious outcomes" equaling 2,816,297 occurred during the eleven years from 2000 to 2010 as tabulated from the FDA's Adverse Event Reporting System for prescription drugs.)
Comparing the five years (2001-2005) with the five years (2006-2010) finds that the number of deaths grew by +66.7% for the second time frame as compared to first. For the same comparative spans, serious patient leaped by almost three quarters (+77.5%).
) the site is anti-drug-war slanted, but cites (with links to) published FedGov data.
No matter how you want to slice it, if Mexico lets up on its attempt on stemming the flow of illegal drugs, things will only get (a lot) worse. And gangs seem to be the major conduit of drugs into the US, I can only guess gang-related violence will climb, on both sides of the border.