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Prescription Overdose Death Outweighs All Other Drugs

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Prescription Overdose Death Outweighs All Other Drugs

The American public commonly links the word drug addiction to cocaine and heroin. The fact is that more Americans die every year from prescription painkillers then heroin and cocaine combined. Methadone, OxyContin, Vicodin and similar drugs are responsible for the death of 40 people daily in the United States. A large portion of these deaths are people who get their hands on these drugs without having a prescription. They are using these drugs carelessly and recreationally seeking to experience the euphoric feeling that these drugs are capable of producing. The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reports that in 2010 one out of every twenty individuals over the age of 12 stated that they used prescription painkillers recreationally. That is a total of 12 million people in the country. In addition the sale of prescription painkillers has increased an astonishing 300% over the past twelve years. Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the National Drug Control Policy states, “Prescription drug abuse is a silent epidemic that is stealing thousands of lives and tearing apart communities and families across America.” The Obama administration is taking measures to attack this problem. State-based monitoring programs are being developed to regulate how and who prescribing doctors distribute prescriptions and “pill mills” are being set up across the country as a place for people to drop off unused medication so that they do not fall into the wrong hands. Prescription drug abuse is a very real problem that is not going away. In addition to the actions that the Obama administration are taking, people around the country need to do their part to get involved and stop the spreading epidemic.


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