Prescription drug overdose death rate drops in Washington state

CLARKSTON, WA - In health news, fewer people in Washington State are dying from prescription pain medication overdoses.

The Washington state department of health released new numbers from 2008 to 2011, showing that the overdose death rate has dropped a staggering 23%. The number of deaths decreased from 512 people in 2008, to 407 people in 2011. This change is partly due to new pain management rules for health care providers, plus prescription monitoring programs.

"The need for these strong narcotic pain medicines have gone down substantially, and I think that patients themselves want an alternative where they will not become addicted," said Tri-State Hospital Anesthesiologist Dr. M. Lyndon Dieter.

Even though the death rate has dropped, it's still six times higher than it was, back in 1998. If you or someone you know wants to get rid of prescription medications, there are drop boxes located inside the Lewiston and Clarkston police departments.