Americans are dying in ever-increasing numbers from overdoses of opioid painkillers.* Skyrocketing abuse of and dependence on prescription painkillers combined with growing sales has contributed to this increase in overdoses and deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sales of these drugs to pharmacies and health care providers have increased by more than 300 percent since 1999. Even though most of these pills were originally prescribed for a medical purpose, many ended up in the hands of people who misused or abused them. Improving the way prescription painkillers are prescribed can reduce the number of people who misuse, abuse, and overdose from them, while ensuring that patients have access to safe, effective treatment.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention