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New study shows that drug overdose is the leading cause of death in former prisoners

Science Spotlight

November 22, 2013

Treatment is the Key

A new study identifies drug overdose as the leading cause of death in former prisoners, with prescription opioids most commonly involved in these deaths.  In addition, women leaving prison had higher mortality rates from opioids, cocaine, and antidepressants than men.

These findings highlight the vulnerability of former prisoners as they transition from prison to the community, suggesting the need for more effective overdose education, monitoring for medical problems, and drug treatment in prison- and community-based mental and health care systems.

For a copy of the study abstract (published online November 5), go to: http://annals.org/article.aspx?articleid=1763230.  For facts on criminal justice and drug abuse, go to www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/criminal-justice-drug-abuse.

For more information, contact the NIDA press office at media@nida.nih.gov or 301-443-6245.

NIDA Press Office

About the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) is a component of the National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIDA supports most of the world’s research on the health aspects of drug use and addiction. The Institute carries out a large variety of programs to inform policy, improve practice, and advance addiction science. Fact sheets on the health effects of drugs and information on NIDA research and other activities can be found at www.drugabuse.gov, which is now compatible with your smartphone, iPad or tablet. To order publications in English or Spanish, call NIDA’s DrugPubs research dissemination center at 1-877-NIDA-NIH or 240-645-0228 (TDD) or email requests to drugpubs@nida.nih.gov. Online ordering is available at drugpubs.drugabuse.gov. NIDA’s media guide can be found at www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/dear-journalist, and its easy-to-read website can be found at www.easyread.drugabuse.gov. You can follow NIDA on Twitter and Facebook.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

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    NIDA. (2013, November 22). New study shows that drug overdose is the leading cause of death in former prisoners. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/news-releases/2013/11/new-study-shows-drug-overdose-leading-cause-death-in-former-prisoners

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