According to the survey conducted by the city’s Department of Health, which was published in Wall Street Journal, after marijuana, New yorkers are taking painkillers illegally more than any other drugs.
During 2008-2009, approximately 850,000 New yorkers over the age of 12, who constitute 14% of the population revealed that marijuana is the most common drug which is abused by them in the past year. Secondly 263,000 users are estimated for pain killer drugs like opioids, oxycodone and prescription drugs like oxycontin, vicodin and percocet.
Cocaine is the third with the estimated number of 180,000 users in the past year, followed by 90,000 users who revealed that they took pills containing anti anxiety drug called benzodiazepine.
The report also stated that between 2004 and 2009, the number of narcotic related emergency cases in the New york city has been increased by 40% due to the increase in the number of people abusing prescription pain killers and anti anxiety pills. During the six year period, the emergency-room visits doubled for opiod pain killers and the number of benzodiazepine related cases rose to 59%.
Between the years of 2005-2009, the death rate related to opioid poisoning increased by 20% and the death rate related to benzodiazepine poisoning went up to 17%. Finally, the overall report showed that there are more than 1 million New yorkers who illegally used drugs in the past year, constituting 16% of the total population, a bit higher than the nationwide average of 15%.