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America's Deadliest Pills

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PRescription Drug Deaths

Think about this for a second:

Car crashes used to be the leading cause of accidental death in America.

Now it's prescription pills. 41,000 died from pills in 2008, while 38,000 died in car crashes. That's a 90% increase and a 15% decrease since 1999, respectively.

Here are some of the most prescribed, worst offenders:

Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin and Percocet (oxycodone), codeine, morphine — and let's not forget Actiq (fentanyl), the infamous berry-flavored lollipop that is 100 times stronger than morphine and — like most opiate analgesics — so overprescribed that only about 10 percent of its sales come from its original indication to treat cancer pain.

This completely outpaces overdose from things like heroin and cocaine.

And guess what? 3/4 of the overdoses are unintentional and only 13% are suicides. It's actually been labeled and "epidemic."

Here are the top ten most dangerous:

1. Xanax (alprazolam) 112,552 (benzodiazepine class)

2. OxyContin (and other oxycodone drugs) 105,214 (opiate class)

3. Vicodin (and other hydrocodone drugs) 86,258 (opiate class)

4. Methadone 63,031 (opiate class)

5. Klonopin (clonazepam) 57,633 (benzodiazepine class)

6. Ativan (lorazepam) 36,582 (benzodiazepine class)

7. Morphine drugs 31,731 (opiate class)

8. Seroquel (quetiapine) 29,436 (antipsychotic class)

9. Ambien (zolpidem) 29,127 (sedative class)

10. Valium (diazepam) 25,150 (benzodiazepine)

So scary! We need to both be careful AND realize when things are being overprescribed and put a STOP to it!

This is unacceptable and rather avoidable! Those numbers are shocking!

[Image via AP Images.]

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