Drug Overdose Deaths in the US, 2008

"In 2008, a total of 36,450 deaths were attributed to drug overdose, a rate of 11.9 per 100,000 population (Table 1), among which a drug was specified in 27,153 (74.5%) deaths. One or more prescription drugs were involved in 20,044 (73.8%) of the 27,153 deaths, and OPR were involved in 14,800 (73.8%) of the 20,044 prescription drug overdose deaths."


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Vital Signs: Overdoses of Prescription Opioid Pain Relievers — United States, 1999–2008," Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Atlanta, GA: 2011), Vol. 60, No. 43, p. 1488.