November 16, 2012

Prescription drug overdose: Facts and myths

Posted Friday, Nov. 16, 2012

CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta says it's time to end the prescription drug death epidemic

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one person dies from a drug overdose every 19 minutes. About 37,000 Americans died after accidentally overdosing on legal or illegal drugs in 2009, according to the CDC; about half of those deaths involved prescription painkillers.

Those numbers are significant enough to make prescription drugs the leading cause of accidental death in this county. It's a statistic that has led some experts to call prescription drug abuse an epidemic.

CNN outlines important facts and myths you should know about prescription drug overdoses.


Dr. Sanjay Gupta, associate chief of neurosurgery at Grady Memorial Hospital and CNN's chief medical correspondent, says it's time to work to put an end to the deaths associated with prescription pills.

“We often pay close attention if a celebrity dies of an overdose, but truth is, it's our friends, neighbors and yes, our own family members who are dying,” he says.


Gupta's documentary “Deadly Dose” is set to air on CNN at 8 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 18.

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