The United States is in the midst of a prescription painkiller overdose epidemic. (http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html).
Since 1999, the amount of prescription painkillers prescribed and sold in the U.S. has nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. (http://www.cdc.gov/drugoverdose/index.html).
The DEA reported that the number of Americans who abuse prescription medication – 7 million – is larger than the number of abusers of heroin, cocaine, hallucinogens, Ecstasy and inhalants combined. (http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2011/05/prescription_for_addiction_gov.html)