DEA change means no refills on much-abused painkillers

August 21, 2014
by David Gutman
Charleston Gazette

In 2008, West Virginia had the nation’s second-highest rate of deaths from drug overdoses, according to a study by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A more recent study, from the Trust for America’s Health, a nonprofit group, found that West Virginia had the highest overdose rate in the country and that the death rate rose by more than 600 percent from 1999 to 2010.

The CDC study found that, in 2008, there were 14,800 deaths from prescription painkillers across the country, more than 470,000 emergency room visits because of prescription painkillers, nearly 2 million people abused or were dependent on the drugs and more than 12 million people were using painkillers for a nonmedical purpose.

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