All accidental overdose deaths, whether caused by illicit or prescription drugs, continue to increase and remain a leading cause of accidental death, with about four overdose deaths per week investigated by the Medical Examiner's Office in 2014.
Accidental overdose deaths involving prescription medications, such as Vicodin ® and Oxycodone ®, are still happening at an alarming rate, yet they are not increasing as fast as deaths from illicit drugs.
The Role of Alcohol in Accidental Overdose Deaths
The combined use of prescription medications with other substances, such as illicit drugs and alcohol, reveals a consistent and underlying trend of substance abuse and addiction.
Accidental Drug Overdose Deaths by Gender and Age (2009 - 2012)
Contrary to common assumptions, Rhode Island 's drug overdose epidemic is not limited to younger adult males. While men accounted for twice as many accidental drug overdose deaths from 2009-2012, people ages 40 through 60 accounted for most of drug overdose deaths overall.