Accidental drug overdose deaths top 1,900 in Texas

HOUSTON (AP) — A review of state documents shows Texas had more than 1,900 accidental drug overdose deaths in 2008.

The Houston Chronicle reported Monday that one-sixth of the deaths happened in Houston, the state's largest city.

Addiction expert Jane Maxwell, with the University of Texas School of Social Work, is calling for the 2011 Legislature to fund a real-time prescription drug tracking system.

The fatal overdose statistics were compiled from 2008 government death certificates.

The newspaper's review also found that 890 Texans in 2000 sought treatment for addition to pain medications. By 2008 the figure was 5,844.

The nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance last month called for stepped-up federal response and emergency public education campaigns on how to prevent prescription pill overdoses.

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Information from: Houston Chronicle, http://www.houstonchronicle.com