Prescription Drug Abuse Paves Way for More Drug-Related Traffic Fatalities


April 15, 2012

Traffic accidents caused by alcohol have long outpaced those caused by illegal drugs, but with the rising problem of prescription drug abuse, this may be changing. Georgia residents were again recently reminded of the tragic toll of prescription drug abuse by a fatal pedestrian collision in Clayton County.

The driver who was facing criminal charges was involved in a hit and run pedestrian accident that left three teenagers dead and their families overwhelmed with grief. While the criminal case against the driver is still pending, she is charged with 3 counts of vehicular manslaughter, DUI, hit and run, obstructing a police officer and other charges. It is alleged that she was both under the influence of prescription drugs and talking on her cell phone during the Clayton County pedestrian accident.

>There is little question that prescription drug abuse is on the rise as new stories are reported daily across the U.S. about tragedies and arrests involving abuse of prescription drugs. A study conducted by the federal government covering a period stretching from 1998-2008 found that there had been a fourfold increase in prescription drug abuse during that period. The growing prescription drug epidemic appears to reach people from all socio-economic backgrounds and walks of life.

According to Dr. Scott Glaser, President of Pain Specialists of Greater Chicago, the volume of prescriptions for controlled substances is rising at an alarming rate from 22 million in 1994 to 354 million in 2003. Some medical experts and drug addiction treatment specialists indicate that part of the problem is an increasing push for immediate relief and unwillingness to tolerate even minimal pain. This orientation to absolute zero pain tolerance has led to wider use of opiates and other controlled substances and, predictably, a higher number of people developing dependencies on such drugs.

Ironically, the number of prescription drug-related fatalities has passed auto accident-related fatalities. It is not surprising that increased abuse of prescription drugs also means more DUI car accidents in Georgia and throughout the U.S. in which drivers are impaired by prescription drugs. The Centers for Disease Control has indicated that drug abuse, including prescription drug abuse, may now account for as many car accident fatalities as alcohol.

Prescription drugs may also pose a more serious problem than alcohol in terms of causing Georgia DUI accidents. While drivers have a substantial amount of experience dealing with drinking and driving, many drivers are less familiar with the impact of specific prescription medications on driving abilities. Drivers also may take prescription medications several times a day making it more likely that they will drive while impaired by prescription drugs.

If you are injured or lose a loved one in a Georgia DUI accident caused by a driver impaired by prescription drugs, the experienced Georgia DUI accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates will provide a free consultation to discuss representing you in a personal injury or wrongful death claim or lawsuit to seek just compensation. Our experienced Georgia DUI accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

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