Methadone Leading Cause of Overdose Victims in Kentucky

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A state medical examiner's report says methadone is the prescription drug that was most frequently detected in the blood of fatal overdose victims. Methadone is commonly prescribed for treating patients suffering from chronic pain and medical professionals describe methadone as an effective tool for pain management.

Overdose due to methadone is on the rise in Kentucky as reflected in the State Medical Examiners Annual Report. It lists 197 deaths related to the misuse of the prescription drug methadone last year. Methadone was detected in 41 percent of the 484 overdose death cases in Kentucky.

A recent federal government study found that nationwide methadone-related deaths climbed to more than 38-hundred in 2004 from about 780 in 1999.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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