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Feb 25, 2015 5:55 PM

Overdose deaths up as many prescription painkillers are stronger than morphine


Deaths from prescription narcotic painkillers are soaring. Not only are opioid drugs becoming more and more popular, they're also becoming more powerful. Did you know that many are stronger than even morphine?

A study from the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention shows between 2011-2012 four out of five people taking prescription pain-killers took a pill that was as either equivalent to morphine, or stronger. Specifically, 37% took pills stronger than morphine.

Some of those pills are Fentanyl, Hydromorphone (Dilaudid), Methadone and Oxycodone

The C.D.C. says in 2012 there were more than 16,000 overdose deaths. That number has tripled since 1999.

In turn sales are up. Use of prescription painkillers like Vicodin and Oxycontin has grown. Of adults 20 and older, 7% say they use narcotic painkillers. Between 1999-2010 sales quadrupled.

There's also a growing problem among seniors, as record numbers of painkiller prescriptions are reportedly being written for older patients.


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