According to an article published on WebMD, deaths from overdoses on pain killers such as Vicodin, morphine and OxyContin have increased to nearly four times the amount between the years 1999 to 2011.
Sedatives used to treat anxiety, insomnia and seizures were involved in 31 percent of the narcotic painkiller deaths in 2011. Specifically, benzodiazepines related deaths have increased an average of 14 percent per year, while deaths from painkillers without benzodiazepines have not significantly changed.
This “epidemic” should be able to come under some sort of control. Doctors have prescribed such pain killers in bulk for chronic conditions in patients instead of reserving them for days following surgery or for cancer patients.
The highest increase in deaths occurs among white people and those between the ages of 55 and 64. Non-white patients have more caution used when prescribing narcotic painkillers as the stereotype suggests that minorities have the greater possibility of developing an addiction. Most doctors do not think of the older white population becoming addicted to these pills.