Prescription painkiller overdoses at epidemic levels
The drug overdose rate in the United States has been increasing rapidly since the early 1990s and is now considered an epidemic. Prescription drugs have been the primary contributor to the increase in drug overdose death rates. With awareness about impaired and distracted driving, the numbers of deaths attributed to automobiles has decreased. Conversely, drug poisoning death and opioid deaths have increased.
Prescription drugs kill more Americans than heroin and cocaine combined
The death toll from overdoses of prescription painkillers has more than tripled in the past decade, according to an analysis in the CDC Vital Signs report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 40 people die every day from overdoses involving narcotic pain relievers like hydrocodone (Vicodin), methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin), and oxymorphone (Opana).
Teenage prescription drug deaths skyrocketing, CDC warns
The rate of fatal poisonings among 15- to 19-year-olds surged 91 percent between 2000 and 2009, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.