Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington: drug deaths outnumber traffic fatalities

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  • Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Washington 'a phenomenon' for pharmacy robberies

    Monday, August 31 2009 8:46 PM EDT2009-09-01 00:46:00 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Following numerous Walgreens robberies in which the popular painkiller Oxycontin was targeted, the pharmacy has installed time-lock security cabinets in all of its pharmacies across Washington State. Robert Elfinger, with Walgreens Media Relations, says that pharmacy robberies are 'a phenomenon in Washington' in that the state only has 120 to 130 Walgreens' pharmacies, but sees many more robberies than Texas, a state with more than 600 pharmacies.>>

OLYMPIA, Wash.- In Washington, and 15 other states, drugs now kill more people than auto accidents do. That's according to a new government study that looked at death certificates from the last three years. Experts say the startling shift reflects two opposite trends: Driving is becoming safer, and the legal and illegal use of powerful prescription painkillers is on the rise.

For decades, traffic accidents have been the biggest cause of injury-related death in the U.S., and they are still No. 1. But drug overdoses are pulling ahead in one state after another. The drug-related death rate roughly doubled from the late 1990s to 2006, according to the most recent CDC data. 

The number of states in which drug-related deaths have overtaken traffic fatalities has gone from eight in 2003 to 12 in 2005, and 16 in 2006. They are: Washington, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada. 

It's not clear why those states have seen such a shift, but experts said certain drugs may be more of a problem in some states than in others. While cocaine and heroin continue to be significant killers, most of the increase is attributed to prescription opiates such as the painkillers methadone, Oxycontin and Vicodin. 

From 1999 to 2006, death rates for such medications climbed for every age group. Deaths from methadone alone increased sevenfold, according to the CDC. It's not all black market stuff, either. About half of the opiate medication deaths in King County, Wash., which includes Seattle, involved people who got their drugs through legal prescriptions, said Caleb Banta-Green, a University of Washington research scientist. 

Using death certificate data, CDC researchers counted more than 45,000 U.S. deaths nationwide from traffic accidents in 2006, and about 39,000 from drug-induced causes.
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    Wednesday, October 18 2017 7:03 PM EDT2017-10-18 23:03:15 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - UPDATE: Detectives have identified the woman in the above photos thanks to help from the public.

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  • Amazon will now ship a tiny house straight to your door

    Amazon will now ship a tiny house straight to your door

    Wednesday, October 18 2017 3:32 PM EDT2017-10-18 19:32:15 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Thanks to Amazon, you can now order a tiny house and have it shipped straight to your door! The e-commerce giant has joined the tiny house market, offering tiny homes made from new shipping containers. The homes are 320 square feet, come fully furnished and feature a bedroom, bathroom, kitchenette and living area. They are also also equipped with insulation, appliances, a toilet, shower and a sink.

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