Study shows number of opioid overdose deaths higher than fatal wrecks

Study shows number of opioid overdose deaths higher than fatal wrecks
(Source: Ugochi Iloka/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - Startling stats on a recent study about drug overdoses.

One University of Alabama professor said the odds of an accidental opioid overdose are higher than the chances of a person dying from a car accident.

The National safety council found there’s a 1 in 96 chance that someone you know could OD and die, versus a 1 in 103 chance of someone you know being killed in a car wreck.

Either way the numbers are disturbing.

Dr. Jared Ellis shares a personal connection with this problem, since he lost his own nephew two days before Christmas in 2016 due to an accidental overdose of heroin and fentanyl.

“It’s an important issue for our patients, but also when it touches your family, so it becomes more of an issue. What I realized from some reading that I did is people are having a harder time getting prescription opioids because there’s been a crack down from the government, and physicians are less likely prescribe as much as before so patients are turning to things like black tar heroin,” said Ellis.

Here’s more information Ellis references and links below.

Opioid overdose-The study:

Examining a variety of federal and state data the National safety council found the lifetime odds of dying from an accidental opioid overdose were 1 in 96. For motor vehicle accidents the odds were 1 in 103 and 1 in 114 for falls. The lifetime odds of suicide were greater, at 1 in 88. In addition, they are lifetime odds, based on dividing the one-year odds by the life expectancy of a person born in 2017.


Rx opioid abuse

Black tar Heroin from Mexico

Fentanyl injectable from China 100 x morphine potency

Potency issues


Relapses can be lethal because of loss of tolerance


Don’t use drugs not RX to you! Ever! Even once. Opioids are very addictive and

Heroin is incredibly addictive, even after a single dose.

Avoid Opioid RX meds if possible. Even if RX to you, they can lead to addiction and side effects




Evzio autoinjector

Narcan nasal spray

Standing order law

In 2016, hb379 was signed into law, providing the state health officer or a county health officer the authority to write a standing order for dispensing naloxone. In other words, the pharmacy can dispense without one seeing a doctor.


Treatment programs

Substance abuse and mental health services administration (samsa)

aAccess through website:

Medical therapy with buprenorphine, naloxone (suboxone is both), methadone, others

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