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The Associated Press (AP) has reported that drug overdoses are one the rise for middle-aged women across the United States, with New Mexico having one of the highest rates of overdoses resting in death. New Mexico averages about 15-19 deaths per 100,000 people.

The Center for Disease Control officials think more than 70 percent of these overdose deaths were unintentional.

Increasing female overdose death rates are closely tied to a boom in the overall use of prescribed painkillers. However the serious medical conditions requiring pain medications has not had a comparable increase, so the increase in prescriptions does not appear to be due to medical conditions.

Some experts believe the increase in prescriptions can be traced to pharmaceutical marketing campaigns.

Doctors and pharmacists have the duty to act reasonably and within medical standards. This duty includes ensuring that patients are not given painkillers in an inappropriate way that could lead to addiction or overdose. It also includes a duty to inform patients of the risks associated with the prescribed medication, and any potential interaction the prescribed medication could have with other medications or allergies.

There have been many prescription error and medical negligence cases in Southern New Mexico, and Las Cruces. In December 2012, the New Mexico Medical Board revoked the license of a local Las Cruces physician, Dr. Pawan Jain, after a lengthy investigation into Jain's prescribing practices and the deaths of 21 of his patients as a result of prescription overdoses.

If you think you or a loved one has been a victim of prescription errors or medical negligence, you should contact a personal injury attorney. Call McGraw & Strickland at: (575) 323-1529

Las Cruces, NM

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McGraw & Strickland, LLC
165 West Lucero Ave.
Las Cruces, NM 88005

Phone: 575-567-3107
Fax: 575-680-1200
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