Saving lives and protecting people : preventing prescription painkiller overdoses
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Saving lives and protecting people : preventing prescription painkiller overdoses

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      Overdose deaths have skyrocketed in the past decade, largely because of prescription painkillers. The stories are tragic: A father whose addiction to prescription painkillers ended in a fatal overdose. A teen who died after taking prescription painkillers stolen from a friend’s grandmother. Seven members of one community who overdosed on painkillers they got from a pain clinic. Overdoses of prescription painkillers have more than tripled in the past 20 years, leading to 14,800 deaths in the United States in 2008. Overdose deaths are only part of the problem—for each death involving prescription painkillers (also called opioid or narcotic pain relievers), hundreds of people abuse or misuse these drugs: • Emergency department visits for prescription painkiller abuse or misuse have doubled in the past 5 years to nearly half a million. • About 12 million American teens and adults reported using prescription painkillers to get “high” or for other nonmedical reasons. • Nonmedical use of prescription painkillers costs more than $72.5 billion each year in direct health care costs. Publication date from document properties. ncipc_factsheets_ppo_v7.pdf
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