Prescription Painkiller Overdoses Surpass ‘Street Drugs’

Illegal drug use is a significant problem in this country.  However, according to, a growing prescription drug epidemic is eclipsing the illegal drug problem and is killing approximately 15,000 people in this country every year, which is more fatalities than  heroin and cocaine overdoses combined.

One sister describes the tragic story of her brother’s demise from his addiction to the powerful painkiller Vicodin.  Aaron, her brother, was a popular athlete in high school, and later worked as as a successful insurance salesman, who kept himself in shape by working out. 

However, when he visited a doctor for an old sports injury that was bothering him and was prescribed Vicodin for the pain, it started him on the long road of prescription drug abuse, even though he had never abused drugs or alcohol in the past.   Aaron tried hard to kick his dependency for three years, but tragically passed away from a drug overdose at the age of thirty-six.

According to Today, prescription drug overdose deaths like Aaron’s have skyrocketed in recent years, and is creating this nation’s fastest growing drug problem.  Although many people are not taking prescription drugs to get high, but are just following their doctor’s orders, they still develop an addiction to these powerful painkillers, an addiction that many users cannot overcome.

One doctor from the American College of Emergency Physicians stated that the emphasis today is on relieving pain quickly and adequately, and also stated that in 2010 the amount of painkillers sold was four times greater than that of 1999.

To combat this growing problem, the government is not only calling for more education, but better monitoring systems and stronger enforcement of regulations covering these powerful  painkillers.

Health officials report that painkillers should only be used for a short time.  Signs of prescription drug addiction are:

  • Missing work
  • Pursuing the drugs at the expense of other activities
  • Getting into trouble while driving or other legal problems
  • Behavior problems

Contact your medical provider for available treatments if you, or if you suspect a family member or friend, have an addiction to prescription drugs.

The original story can be found here.