OxyContin and overdosing in Orange County

pills overdose

A report from the Orange County Health Care Agency said almost half of overdose deaths were due to accidental overdose of prescription drugs. (Credit: rtdisoho / Pixabay)

Oxycontin is an opiate drug prescribed for pain relief, however it is highly addictive and subject to abuse. The Orange County Health Care Agency released a report showing that the rate of drug overdoses has increased 88 percent from 2000-2015. That rate has gone from 6.5 to 12.3 per 100,000.  Accidental overdoses account for 75 percent of the deaths.  Of the Coroner-investigated deaths, 66.8 percent were Opiod related.

Negligent doctors are blamed for the abuse of  on over prescribing, and in 2016 Dr. Hsiu-Ying “Lisa” Tseng was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for murder.

An article posted to mynewsla.com reported that Tseng was convicted Oct. 30 of three counts of second-degree murder, 19 counts of unlawful controlled substance prescription and one count of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud.

The murder charges stemmed from the deaths of Vu Nguyen, 28, of Lake Forest; Steven Ogle, 24, of Palm Desert; and Joseph Rovero III, a 21-year-old Arizona State University student from San Ramon, between March and December 2009.

In a letter to the judge Tseng wrote “I told myself that my patients’ conduct was beyond my control.”

“Between 2013 and 2015, there were 16,396 hospitalizations and 2,047 deaths related to drug and alcohol overdoses or poisonings. This averages to approximately 5,500 hospitalizations and nearly 700 deaths each year. In addition, the Sheriffs-Coroner Office investigated 1,011 overdose deaths, for an average of 337 overdose deaths each year,” according to the Sheriffs-Coroner report.

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