A surprising number of Americans die every year from mixing prescription drugs with alcohol. Researchers say these fatal mistakes are especially common among the 22-49 age groups and occur in men more often than women.
The author of the study, Dave Phillips, of the University of California at San Diego, says, "We know that people are risk takers - particularly males. And our findings are particularly strong for males. If you look at any kind of accident - males are much more likely to die from that accident than are females. And that's true for these medication errors mixed in with alcohol".
At the University of California at San Diego, they studied 20 years of medical records that had people mixing prescriptions with alcohol. They found more than a 3000% increase in the number of people who died after accidentally taking prescription drugs and drinking alcohol. Researchers believe part of the problem is that hospital stays are much shorter then they use to be. So more people are sent home taking medication. Perhaps a bigger problem, though, they say, is that people do not take the warning seriously to avoid alcohol while taking certain drugs.
The study urges individuals to pay attention to that warning on the drug label even if it is something over the counter. If a drug label reads, "don't take with alcohol", ignoring that could be a fatal mistake.