'Prescription Drug Abuse Swells in New Hampshire,' New Hampshire Public Radio
Entrants: Elaine A. Grant
Affiliation: New Hampshire Public Radio
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In June, 2009, three young people died of prescription drug overdoses within a 24-hour period. Two were roommates, the third unrelated but living nearby. These deaths were part of a tragic pattern of increasing abuse of prescription drugs, particularly opioids like Vicodin, Oxycontin and methadone. From 1995 to 2007, drug overdose deaths in New Hampshire jumped more than 400%; that year, overdose deaths surpassed deaths from traffic accidents. The majority of those deaths resulted from overdoses of methadone, typically mixed with other prescription medications. Methadone use is so rampant that in 2005, New Hampshire was fourth in the country for the number of methadone overdose deaths per capita, according to the CDC.
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