Drugs Identified in 5% Of Deceased Persons
LABELLE, FL. -- From January through June 2008 there were approximately 89,000 deaths in Florida. Of those, 4,055 individuals were found to have died with one or more of the drugs in their bodies.
The latest report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Florida Medical Examiners Commission 2008 Interim Report of Drugs Identified in Deceased Persons shows the three most frequently occurring drugs found in decedents were ethyl alcohol (1,923), all benzodiazepines (1,469), and cocaine (955).
The drugs that caused the most deaths were oxycodone, all benzodiazepines (with alprazolam accounting for the majority of the deaths), cocaine, methadone, ethyl alcohol, hydrocodone, and morphine. The three drugs that were the most lethal, meaning more than 50% of the deaths were caused by the drug when the drug was found, were heroin (91.5%), methadone (75%), and oxycodone (60%).
Deaths caused by methadone and cocaine declined by 10.7% and 10.2%, respectively, compared to the last six months of 2007. In addition, deaths caused by ethyl alcohol, fentanyl, and propoxyphene declined. With heroin continuing to be the most lethal drug named in this report, occurrences increased by 34% and deaths caused by heroin also increased by 41.3% over the last half of 2007.