Overdose deaths from prescription painkillers have skyrocketed in the past decade. Every year, nearly 15,000 people die from overdoses involving these drugs—more than those who die from heroin and cocaine combined.
The abuse of prescription painkillers has risen dramatically in the last 15 years; in 1999 4,000 people were killed by these drugs (less than a third of the current numbers of deaths).
Find more information on prescription drug abuse and treatment options from the United States Center for Disease Control.
Related: Prescription Drug Abuse in the USA – Prescription Drug Abuse: Pain Killers Can Lead to Addition – Decline in the Misuse of Prescription Drugs in the USA (reported in 2008, was the data accurate?) – Brett Favre Overcomes Painkiller Addiction