Drug Overdose Now Leading Cause of Injury-Related Deaths

Predictable, Preventable

“One person dies from an injury every 3 minutes in the United States,” Dr Levi said. “Injuries are the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of 1 and 44. They are responsible for nearly 193,000 deaths each year, and more than 27 million Americans seek medical treatment for injuries each year.”

“Injuries are not just acts of fate. Research shows that they are pretty predictable, and they are actually very preventable,” he noted. Preventing injuries “is not rocket science, but it requires common sense and an investment in good public health practice,” he added.

Injuries are persistent public health problems,” added Dr Peek-Asa. “New troubling trends, like the prescription drug overdose epidemic, increasing rates of fall-related deaths, and traumatic brain injuries, are serious and require immediate response. But we cannot afford to neglect or divert funds from ongoing concerns like motor vehicle crashes, drownings, assaults, and suicides. We spend less than the cost of a box of bandages, at just $.028 per person per year, on core injury prevention programs in this country.”

Drug Overdose Now Leading Cause of Injury-Related Deaths The report also includes a report card of 10 key indicators of leading evidence-based strategies that help reduce injuries and violence. Twenty-nine states and Washington, DC, scored a 5 or lower out of the 10 key injury-prevention indicators. New York received the highest score of 9 out of 10; the four states that scored the lowest are Florida, Iowa, Missouri, and Montana, scoring 2 out of 10.

“This report provides state leaders and policy makers with the information needed to make evidence-based decisions to not only save lives but also save state and taxpayers’ money,” said Amber Williams, executive director of the Safe States Alliance.

The average injury-related death in the US costs over $1 million in medical costs and lost wages. Preventing these injuries will allow for investments in other critical areas, including education and infrastructure,” she said.


Megan Brooks
The complete report is available at http://www.healthyamericans.org.

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