Opioid Pain Reliever Overdose Kills More than Heroin and Cocaine Combined

Deaths resulting from an overdose of opioid pain relievers — including hydrocodone, methadone, oxycodone and oxymorphone — now exceed overdose deaths from heroin and cocaine combined, according to a report from the Center for Disease Control.

In 2008, 36,450 people died from drug overdoses in the United States, and 20,044 of those were due to prescription drug overdose. Opioid pain relievers were involved in 14,800 of those 20,044.

The national average was 4.8 percent using opioid pain reliever nonmedically. Oklahoma reported the highest rate at 8.1, and Iowa and Nebraska reported the lowest rate at 3.6. The report also found the abuse cost health insurers approximately $72.5 billion per year.

Related Articles about Prescription Drug Abuse:
Dr. Scott Glaser: The Need for Interconnected Prescription Monitoring Programs
Chronic Pain and Prescription Drug Abuse Cost U.S. More Than $323 Billion a Year
States Target Physicians in New Opioid Regulations

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